August 19, 6pm EST
Automat: An Excerpt from Tales of Hopper by Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance in collaboration with composer Martin Bresnick and performer Claire Westby
Tales of Hopper is the fruit of a collaboration between choreographer Cherylyn Lavagnino and composer Martin Bresnick inspired by the work of American painter Edward Hopper. This theater-dance work casts the dancers as figures plucked from selected Hopper paintings, illuminating human connections through gestural movement steeped in subtext, as Bresnick’s original composition for piano, violin, and cello brings emotional undercurrents to the surface. Transparent set pieces reference Hopper’s environments, contextualizing each of the eight vignettes as they unfold. Tales of Hopper marks a departure for Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance, asking each of the dancers to step into the new roles of actor and collaborator in the company’s most character-driven work to date.
Automat is the final vignette of Tales of Hopper. In connection with the preceding vignettes Sunlight in a Cafeteria and Nighthawks, Lavagnino used creative license to craft a narrative of an entangled love triangle between the male and two female characters. The man faces a dichotomy of emotional repression and sexual yearning; he is searching for an exciting intimacy while realizing the need for stability that only his current relationship can provide him. It is clear he is unable to fulfil the emotional needs of either woman as we find Westby’s figure despairingly lonely in Automat. Lavagnino’s interpretation of Hopper’s painting finds the woman in emotional distress after a failed affair.
“Edward Hopper’s paintings portray a sense of despair and emptiness—a crisis of an alienated world reflecting the loneliness of the human situation in a new, modern age. As artists, we have the only real job security: the expression of the human experience cannot be replaced by computers or machines. CLD has a responsibility to provide insight into and reflection on these disturbing concepts through collaborative, connected performance.” - Cherylyn Lavagnino, Artistic Director
LINK TO PURCHASE IS COMING SOON
Your Purchase is your generous support of Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center. We are especially grateful to Ken and Virginia Morris for their sponsorship of this event, and ArtsRock for their kind support in bringing this to you! Thank YOU for helping us raise funds for Edward Hopper House.
Edward Hopper House is supported in part with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.