Spotlight on David Roussève/REALITY's "Halfway to Dawn"

Apr 09, 2019

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Scene from "Halfway to Dawn" Scene from "Halfway to Dawn"
Photo by Ian Douglas

Halfway to Dawnset to recordings of Billy Strayhorn's music from the 1940s and ‘50s, melds jazz, modern/postmodern, and social dance with layers of video-projected text, abstract video art, and physical theater.

Halfway to Dawn marks choreographer David Roussève’s Northrop debut. It is his third project with Cari Ann Shim Sham (video), Chris Kuhl (lighting), and Leah Piehl (costumes); and his second with Lucy Burns (dramaturgy) and d. Sabela grimes (sound design).

David Roussève explores socially charged, relevant, and often spiritual themes in his work. He has written, directed, and choreographed 14 complete works for his company, David Roussève/REALITY, while also serving as Professor of Choreography in the department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at UCLA.

The son of a jazz musician, a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton, and a Guggenheim Fellow, Roussève was drawn to Billy Strayhorn largely for the emotional tone of his work and the “bittersweetness of his life path.” Roussève named Halfway to Dawn after Strayhorn’s favorite time of day, though it is also a metaphor for how he lived and died and what became of his legacy.

Watch a preview of Halfway to Dawn here.

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