Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth

Visionary Choreographer and MacArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham and pioneering producer/electronic music composer Jlin have come together to create a reimagining of Mozart’s Requiem in D minor through abstracted themes of afterlife, reincarnation, mythology, and folklore. In collaboration with costume designer Giles Deacon, and lighting and set designer Dan Scully, ten dancers from Abraham’s company—A.I.M by Kyle Abraham—take the stage to the music of Jlin, who has transformed Mozart’s score into an electronic opus that memorializes ritual and rebirth.

 


“In Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth A.I.M by Kyle Abraham offers a rousing, often deeply moving meditation on death and rebirth shaped by Black culture.” —Culture Whisper

“One the most consistently excellent troupes working today.” —The New York Times

"Abraham’s creative range is too wide and too buoyant for him to feel constrained by the role of angry black choreographer. His dances may be political but they are also aspirational, complex and upbeat." —The Guardian 

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  • Ticket holders, within 24 hours from the start of the event, watch your email for detailed Event Info from northrop@umn.edu.

Learn More - Explore These Themes

The content below derives from the Northrop Across Campus Program that supports Northrop's mission towards intersections between performing arts and education for the benefit of all participants now and for generations to come.

Find ways to make thematic connections to these suggested topics:

  • Music Theory & Composition
  • Music History
  • Theatrical Design
  • Dance: Modern, Contemporary, Multi-Genre
  • African American Studies
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Social Justice / Civil Rights
  • Theatrical Storytelling
  • Cultural Studies / Global Studies / Diaspora Studies
  • Mortuary Science

Start a conversation about the performance, or encourage reflection, using these questions as inspiration.

The mission of A.I.M by Kyle Abraham is to create a body of dance-based work that is galvanized by Black culture and history. 

  • Do you believe that art can encourage activism? In what ways does art challenge your thinking or compel you to take action?
  • In your experience, can art move you to make positive social change? If so, what pieces of art have caused you to take action against societal injustice?
  • How might Kyle Abraham’s choice to merge Mozart’s Requiem and Jlin’s EDM style be a form of activism? 

In Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth, Choreographer Kyle Abraham, and pioneering producer, composer, and EDM artist Jlin have come together to create a new work exploring death, folklore, and reincarnation, through a reimagining of Mozart’s Requiem in D minor. Ten dancers from Abraham’s company join Jlin, who transforms Mozart’s music into an electronic opus that memorializes ritual, mourning, and rebirth.

  • What possibilities emerge when a modern artist reimagines a classical piece? Without reimagining or editing an original piece, do you think that the story would still resonate with today's audiences?
  • What may be the purpose of reimagining a body of work? What needs to be considered when reimagining an original piece?

In an interview with TheWashington Post, Kyle Abraham says, “transitions are the heartbeat of dance-making. That’s where a lot of purpose comes in. It’s not putting your hand on someone, but it’s the space between you and that person.”

  • Do you see a parallel between this statement and the ways in which COVID forced many of us into a phase of transition? What happened in that transition for you?
  • Where have you observed parallels between areas in your life and elements in the art performances you have seen?
  • In what ways has the pandemic shifted your perspective on art making?

The costumes were designed by London-based couture designer Giles Deacon whose “signature use of volume, color and print and his strong sense of the theatrical all feature in his costumes for Requiem,” according to an article from the architecture and design magazineWallpaper.

  • What elements need to be considered when designing costumes for a dance piece? 
  • How does costuming contribute to the storytelling?
  • What challenges might a costume designer face when designing for a dance piece?

Supporters

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.