It has been 6 years since I first discovered choral theatre. It was during the 2010 International Choral festival Kathaumixw that I was attending as an audience member in Powell River, on the west coast of Canada.
Besides enjoying an amazing week with my mom with stunning weather and good food, the choral music was outstanding. I was beside myself with enjoyment. There were choirs from every corner of the earth singing in languages I didn’t know existed, and I heard music by new composers that were pushing the boundaries on the concept of choral sound and harmony.
This was the first time that I was exposed to what was called “choral theatre”. All of the choirs were choreographing their music. And it was fantastic! Now, I’ll be honest, I’m a die-hard choral lover and no choir needs to do anything but stand and sing for me to be enthralled. But the movement was a pleasant addition. It was simple, engaging, and added an element to the performance that had never occurred to me before.
Fast forward to fall of 2014. I had decided to step out of my traditional box and learn R. Murray Schafer’s Snowforms with Cantala. I had a slight heart attack after looking at the “artistic score” but we learnt and performed it successfully that winter. Then, the following year I had a spark of inspiration to choreograph the piece using the talent and inspiration of one of our long standing members who was a dancer and choreographer at another point in her life. She agreed to look at the piece and the project was off.
It took us 8 weeks of hard work, but here is our first foray into choreographing our first piece of choral theatre. And as far as I was told, the audience loved it and wants more. So it was a success. Enjoy how the movement brings new images to mind as you listen to what already exists in the musical score.