The Seán Curran Company: From Central Asia to Northrop

Oct 07, 2015

From Mark Morris to Alvin Ailey  to Michelle Dorrance, the 2015//16 Northrop dance season is filled with some of the biggest names in the modern dance world. And while being less of a household name, Seán Curran Company is equally as impressive. The company will make their Northrop debut this fall with their new piece Dream’d in a Dream. The story behind how the piece came to fruition is as mesmerizing as the show itself.    

Dream’d in a Dream is inspired by the company’s trip to Central Asia, where they served as cultural ambassadors of the U.S. State Department. During their time abroad, they taught dance classes and performed their way through the countries of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Turkmenistan. They also received the opportunity to observe the local culture and attend local events, including a performance by the music ensemble Ustatshakirt Plus.

Ustatshakirt Plus hails from the Tien Shan Mountains of the Kyrgyz Republic. Some of the traditional Kyrgyz instruments they play include the Komuz (a fretless lute) and a Kobyz (a bowed two-stringed instrument). Curran was instantly drawn in by the group’s folk-inspired sound.  Upon hearing the group’s composition “Dreams,” he knew he had to find a way to get his company and the music ensemble to collaborate.

Both groups instantly jumped at the chance of a cross-cultural collaboration. After brainstorming a story concept based on Walt Whitman’s poem I Dreamed in a Dream, the project was created and developed over the last three years.  Now nearly complete, the company hopes the piece conveys the poem’s optimistic message of love, weaving together the ensemble’s memories and dreams to form a united future. The company is in the final stages of preparation for the piece’s debut in October, and their performance here at Northrop on Oct 24 at 8:00 pm. Be sure to get your tickets now! 

For more information on the company and performance, check out this YouTube video and Kickstarter page. You can also get a detailed description of the company’s trip to Central Asia on their travel blog.

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