The Choirs

Join us for a performance of new scores exploring contested notions of community: Saturday 13th January 2018.

During her residency in 2016 and 2017, Melanie Manchot engaged with post doc researchers from diverse disciplines through a series of seminars she termed 'cross talks'. These discussions explored the future of friendship, shelter and community in the context of the North West Cambridge Development and in relation to current socio-political climates. Each year at North West Cambridge Development, artists are appointed to work in collaboration with different University of Cambridge departments relevant to the current phase of the development.

The cross talks were observed by a group of translators from different practices including slam poetry, drama, clowning and paganism. These four translators have in turn devised four scores which will be performed by a clown choir, a drama choir, a rap choir and a pagan choir. Each of these choirs has been formed specifically for this project and they consist of local people, new residents of North West Cambridge, people from the university and the wider community.

On Saturday 13th January 2018, the four choirs will come together for one evening only to perform a unique event devised in response to these inter-disciplinary exchanges. Each choir will perform their individual score and the performance will culminate with all four joining together, a swelling of voices and gestures, in a brief moment of cacophony mixing singing, spoken word and rhythm.

The drama choir features a cast of actors performing a short play that looks at the tradition of the Greek Chorus. The text was written by Stav Poleg, a young Cambridge based author and poet and one of the four translators. The choir is conducted by Helen Strange.

The clown choir will present a newly devised piece of physical theatre that explores the notion of community as being altruistic at its core. Amanda Kelleher leads her choir of newly minted clowns in a process of call and response, akin to migrating birds.

The rap choir's score is based on a text by a local slam poet, which he devised while listening to the cross talks. Performed by a choir of 20 voices and one rapper this new composition has been written by Andrea Cockerton who also heads up this group.

Local pagan Anu Ann has devised a chant specifically for the earth that sits beneath the concert hall, paying particular attention to the materials used in the construction of the building. She will perform with a group of local pagans to address the four elements in the context of how a new development shifts earth and water, affects the air and uses fire/energy to do so.

Two performances will take place on:
Saturday 13 January 2018 at 6pm and 8.30pm

Bookings will be opened soon.



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Melanie Manchot

Melanie Manchot is a London based visual artist who works with photography, film and video as a performative and participatory practice. Her projects often explore specific sites, public spaces or particular communities in order to locate notions of individual and collective identities. The mutability of subjectivity as well as the agency of the camera in creating a set of relations are key interests within Manchot's on-going enquiry into personhood and its representations.



Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

Melanie Manchot

July 2016 to June 2017
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