Led by Felicita Marcelli, Graziele Sena, Agnieszka Kazimierska, and Pauline Laulhe of the Open Program (Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards)
The Open Choir is an exploration of what we consider a forgotten art form, which allows for fluid and active participation by all who attend. It is a free and open event, where everyone is gently invited to take part. This unique, non-sectarian meeting of people through songs of the African diaspora, carefully led by a trained core group of artists, allows people to come in contact with each other and with themselves through songs, dance, and interaction within a participatory context. Participants, coming from different backgrounds, co-create an artwork beyond cultural and social differences, catalyzing a shared space of meaningful recognition and interaction.
This new and old performative art form disrupts the common western notion of a choir and questions our assumptions about community, belonging, identity, diversity, cultural appropriation, performance. During the Open Choir, songs begin around the participants, who are faced with simple choices: to witness, to move into the space of action, to follow from the side, to sing and dance, and to find their own way to be present and support the work of the others. The songs themselves, their rhythms and melodies help to initiate engagement. The effect of the event encircles everyone in attendance, while the core group aids participants by articulating the space and leading the songs, actively building the evening together in present time.
The Open Choir creates a possibility to bring people from different socio-economic backgrounds into a space and a time beyond cultural and/or linguistic borders; to create a safe space to experience care for encounter and action together.
Over the past few years Open Choirs have been hosted in various locations in NYC, in Brazil, Italy, and elsewhere. Now, for the first time, the Open Choir also touches down in Toronto.
Come join us!
Click here to register for free participation.
Click here to view the Facebook event page.
Click here to view the full Encounters Residency program.
Encounters: The Open Program at CDTPS is an artists' residency hosted by the University of Toronto's Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies and supported by the Jackman Humanities Institute Program for the Arts, University College, Theatre and Performance Studies (UTSC), English & Drama (UTM), the Department of English, the Emilio Goggio Chair in Italian Studies, the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the Centre for Comparative Literature.