With Care is a music and dance hybrid piece that grew out of another work called The Effort of Taking Care. Two violinists, Keir GoGwilt and Miranda Cuckson, will accompany and join on the stage of ODC, dancers Bobbi Jene Smith and Or Schraiber. Composer Matthew Aucoin, who this Spring was named a MacArthur Fellow, explains the work that was shepherded by his organization, the American Modern Opera Company.
You can find out more about the performances at the ODC website.
Auction says AMOC is unlike most other companies. “We tour, we perform all over the place. Our home base is not any particular theater, but rather a farm in Vermont where we gather every summer to rehearse and workshop. We’re kind of a mixture of an opera company and a rock band, you know? We’re a collective of singers, dancers and instrumentalists who enjoy working together and want to make new work.” The idea of pairing GoGwilt with Bobbi Jene Smith came from AMOC co-artistic director Zack Winokur, when they were all at the farm in Vermont. “At first I was skeptical that Kier would let anybody hang off of his body while he’s playing the violin,” Aucoin says. “But Bobbi completely won his trust, and more than that, they began collaborating on a full-length piece called ‘A Study on Effort,’ which ODC presented last year. Bobbi holds these impossible poses for lengths of time, and Kier plays these long, reflective musical passages that require incredible effort and concentration to sustain. It’s an exploration of these many forms of effort, and the last of the efforts is called The Effort of Taking Care.” They decided to explore this area further in the new piece, and Aucoin’s role as a composer only came into play for one section of it. “The participants found pieces of music that served the narrative needs of the piece. And actually, I really enjoyed the challenge of writing a piece of music for a specific moment in the arc of With Care. They had actually figured out pretty much everything except these seven minutes, which come quite near the end of the piece, Listening in on rehearsals in this barn in Vermont where we work, and really witnessing the process before I put a note on the page. So it’s actually a really lovely way to work, very collaborative.”