Resin

Premiered October 2011

When a tree wound penetrates through the bark and into the sapwood, the tree bleeds a resin. Myrrh gum, like frankincense, is such a resin. When people harvest resin, they wound the trees repeatedly to bleed them of the gum; slashing the bark and allowing the exuded resins to bleed out and harden. These hardened resins are called tears. Alonzo King

A dancer presses his body into the outline of a cone of light; the halo lifts upwards, a shofar sounds its lament, and Resin begins. As the piece moves from intimate duets to the flashing, barely visible footwork of a quartet of dancers, Alonzo King explores the possibilities of the vast and diverse field of Sephardic music. In this “Diaspora within the Diaspora,” as curator and ethnomusicologist Francesco Spagnolo writes, “the music of the Sephardic Jews has come into contact with music from Europe, including Italy and the Balkans, and especially with the Arabic and Turkish musical worlds.” Rare archival field recordings are interwoven with Judeo-Spanish songs by early-music artist Jordi Savall, and the stage is transformed into a shimmering and timeless landscape, as tiny hardened tears cascade downwards in streams of light.