Chester Cathedral’s Contemporary Performance Artist in Residence, Claire Henderson-Davis, will perform a contemporary dance interpretation of Marcel Dupré’s Symphonie-Passion this Easter.
The work, entitled Anima, is choreographed by Claire Henderson Davis and Bettina Carpi, a Chester-based dance artist. Anima is performed by Claire and Bettina with a company drawn from the cathedral, the local community and students from Chester University Dance Department. Symphonie-Passion is played on the cathedral’s Grand Organ by Philip Rushforth, Director of Music.
The performance of Anima is part of the cathedral’s Easter programme. Birth, death, and resurrection – the central themes of Easter and of Dupré’s organ masterpiece – are interpreted within the framework of the human struggle to become differentiated and mature in the face of the mob.
Anima will take place three times on Monday 10th April at 11.00am, 3.00pm and 6.30pm and will be free. The performance will seek to gather anyone who might be in the cathedral at those times as well as those who have come specifically to see the piece.
Anima will be performed in the South Transept, under Metamorphosis, the sculptural installation in paper by Richard Sweeney, which provides an exciting visual context for the work.
Claire Henderson Davis said:
“‘Anima’ means the soul or inner self or the feminine part of the psyche and the piece, performed by a company of women, explores themes of connection and disconnection, of belonging, and of the relation of the individual to the group. It engages in a dialogue with the music without enacting the passion story in a literal way.”
Marcel Dupré was born in Rouen and became well known in Britain during the First World War when he was acting organist at Notre-Dame, Paris. His first recital in Britain was given at the Royal Albert Hall in 1920 and he came to play in Chester Cathedral on two occasions in 1922. It was said that the cathedral was ‘thronged from end to end’ with spectators.