Photo by Ben DeFlorio

In collaboration with Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth

The Ritual of Breath is a transdisciplinary opera and creative act of resistance. Born from the vibrant collaboration between composer Jonathan Berger, visual artist Enrico Riley and poet/librettist Vievee Francis, the work responds to the murder of Eric Garner and the ongoing theft of Black life at the hands of the State. Music, text, projected visuals and movement interweave in a story centered on Garner’s daughter, Erica. Uplifted by a 75-person choir of singers, the project gathers us together as co-conspirers—to breathe and keep breathing any way we can.

The Ritual of Breath is more than an opera. This timely offering for the city coincides with the 10-year commemoration of Garner’s death. Learn more about the city-wide series of community activations here. Prior to the Ritual of Breath performance, stop by the pre-show Activation Market in Damrosch Park, featuring local Black and Brown-owned shops and crafts vendors from Staten Island. The Activation Market opens at 7:00 pm.

The work is directed by Niegel Smith, the pioneering theater artist and artistic director of The Flea; conducted by American Prize-winning Kamna Gupta; with choreography by founder of Urban Bush Women Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. The Ritual of Breath is grounded in work by the creative team with activist Dr. Shamell Bell and a group of mothers who have lost their children to state-sanctioned violence, including Gwen Carr, Eric Garner’s mother.

Commissioned and produced by Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth. Co-commissioned by Stanford Live.

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Guest Experience at 212-875-5456 or [email protected].

 
 

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