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before the tempest...after the storm / Choreography by Cathy Marston

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Published on Jul 12, 2012

Created by Cathy Marston for a Royal Opera House (London) commission in 2004, this dance work is a prequel and sequel to Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'. It takes the form of a diptych of two duets: the first, before the play begins, is a portrait of Sycorax giving birth to Caliban. The music - commissioned from Jules Maxwell - incorporates text from Ovid's Medea, which also inspired Shakespeare in his dipiction of Sycorax (and Prospero.) The second half of the work is a duet for Prospero and Ariel after Shakespeare's play concludes. Prospero is setting Ariel free, releasing his final breath and dying. The music incorporates the text of WH Auden, who wrote an epilogue to the play - The Sea and The Mirror.
The piece was performed in London at the Royal Opera House in 2004 and revived by the Bern Ballett in 2008. The design is by Jon Bausor with light by Simon Bennison. It was filmed by the BBC and directed by Margaret Willams.

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