Invisible Cities

Tonight the The Industry and LA Dance Project production of Invisible Cities completes its extended one month run at Los Angeles’s Union Station.


A 75-minute opera based on the Italo Calvino novel, with music and libretto by Christopher Cerrone, choreography by Danielle Agami, directed by Yuval Sharon and conducted by Marc Lowenstein, the production has been staged twice each performance evening in the active train station. Each performance began with the overture, in the separate hall that contained the small orchestra.


Ticket holders were issued headphones through which to hear the music as, the overture completed, they set out to walk the halls and outdoor patios of the station, throughout which all the opera unfolded


As the patrons wandered in search of theater, they created their own small dramas, mixing among the travelers on the way to catch trains and the many homeless and sleeping travelers waiting for departure. At every turn of the head, some figure presumed to be part, merely, of the everyday human drama emerged as part of the theatrical.


Lines from the libretto were projected onto the station wall. Movement erupted seemingly from nowhere.


Action erupted. Ordinary occupants of the station, passing the action, turning to look at it…


…transformed into players in the drama, turning themselves to sing to a passing dancer.


Everyday life is the springboard for sublime actions.

In one sense there is nothing more simple and more obvious than everyday
life. How do people live? The question may be difficult to answer, but that does
not make it any the less clear. In another sense nothing could be more
superficial: it is banality, triviality, repetitiveness. And in yet another sense
nothing could be more profound. It is existence and the ‘lived’, revealed as they
are before speculative thought has transcribed them.

Henri Levebvre, Critique of Everyday Life


What emerged and gradually mesmerized was not drama in any expected sense, but spectacle, the spectacle of the ordinary, and what arises out of it, without form or direction, at every moment.


It converged everywhere.


Until it was over. And the convergence continued.



AJA (photography by AJA)

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