About the Grant

$25,000 to support the creation and production of Quartet for the End of Time (MAP 2007), a full-evening dance work choreographed by Trajal Harrell for four dancers.

About the Project

Quartet for the End of Time, takes the story of Olivier Messiaen’s famous music of the same name (composed and first performed by Jewish and Christian musicians in a Nazi prisoner-of-war camp) as a foundation for investigating the antagonism between sincerity and irony in contemporary expression and behavior. Through the juxtaposition of dance, verbal accounts of Messiaen’s story, aural attention to the music, as well as re-mixing the score with other selections of music, sound, and images, this work will develop out of questions about the conditions and trends of art-making today. Leading toward a wider inquiry about the contemporary skepticism toward sincerity in society-at-large, the often competing representations of body and language will be explored and engaged with the audience through Harrell’s sensibility for re-framing “liveness” in live performance.

Quartet for the End of Time
will premiere at Dance Theater Workshop in Fall 2008. Made for four dancers, the work is created in collaboration with lighting designer Thomas Dunn, set designer Erik Flatmo, and photographer David Bergé.


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