2005, 85 mins
‘Broken Chords was about the most harrowing yet inspiring transmutation of personal pain into artistic achievement that I have encountered.’ New York Times
Set amongst rows of wooden chairs, with a huge chandelier hanging overhead, Broken Chords is a visually striking portrait of breaking up and breaking down by an international, multi-tasking ensemble of performers.
Heartbreaking in its honesty, full of dark humour, sublime dancing and playful theatricality, Broken Chords shifts effortlessly between the bleakly comic and the beautifully tragic, charting the director’s devastating divorce with rebellious and hysterical results.
Teasing the audience at every turn, Broken Chords represents Vincent Dance Theatre’s coming of age as a company that has consistently surprised, challenged and delighted audiences.
Broken Chords was originally commissioned by Sheffield Theatres and the Nuffield Theatre Lancaster and funded by Arts Council England and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
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Broken Chords was conceived in late 2004, when I knew my marriage was in deep trouble, and made in late summer 2005 after a long, painful and very public separation. This piece is full of momentary fusions, fragmentation and chaos. I nearly didn’t make it. I nearly didn’t make it at all.
Broken Chords cannot shake off a sense of darkness and weight. Performers slide in and out of control, coming together and falling apart. The piece malfunctions and circles around itself as the dancers and musicians struggle to hold on to each other and hold on to the work.
Broken Chords is two pieces in one – a fictional dance that describes the dark side of love, and a series of self-mocking interruptions that try to save the work from its own physical and emotional self indulgence. These parallel and contradictory strands go some way to describing how the show must go on, at times in your life when the overwhelming desire is to stop faking it, stop talking about it and start living again.
- Directed and Designed by
- Composed by
- Additional music
- Johann Sebastian Bach
- Heinrich von Biber
- Lighting Design by
- Artistic Associate
- Devised and Performed by
- Replacement performers include