Anna Buonomo's Story Of A Night Pianist has had an exceptionally rich lifetime as a dance theatre work: originally commissioned by Big Dance as a promenade work, it has since been adapted for Cloud Dance Sundays, it's now being adapted further for Cloud Dance Festival on Friday 15 November while it's also being turned into a dance film, Faraday's Cage, working with award-winning film director Terry Braun, a project which Anna has received Arts Council England funding for.
As you can see from the photos and trailer (to be completed later this week), Anna is heavily pregnant and due to return to Italy in a few days, so this was one of her last few chances to work with David Gellura and Sacha Flanagan on preparing it for the Bernie Grant Arts Centre stage - nearly double the size of the stage they would have used at Cloud Dance Sundays!
Bricolage Dance Movement will only be presenting an excerpt of the full work, so the section they are preparing tells the story of the stormy and violent relationship between a husband and wife. But this is only a tiny portion of the full story; in company manager Lise Smith's words:
"The story behind the piece's creation is that pianist Lorenzo Turchi-Floris found himself waking nightly at 2am feeling that there was an eerie presence in the room; he was drawn to write a new composition on the piano that he had no commission for and felt almost as if it was automatic writing - he had no idea where this score came from, and finally handed it over to Anna to work with as he had no idea what to do with it. So the haunting of a composer comes from the real experience of our composer, and that's where he absolutely swears the music comes from.
"When he handed the score to Anna, she came up with the idea of tying this experience to the history of Trinity Buoy Wharf as an industrial centre. The characters in the story are based on real historical people - the chained boy, for example, comes from a chained skeleton that was found at the site during excavations in the 20th century, and the other main characters are based on factory workers around the 1840s. We've taken some licence, of course, and used the idea of spirits with unfinished business in the present day - people whose stories were not heard in their lifetime - to create a fiction from a combination of the history of the site and Lorenzo's experience."
Bricolage Dance Movement will be presenting Story Of A Night Pianist on Friday 15 November, and we hope you'll be there to watch their performance. Further details can be found here, and a trailer will be available shortly.
Rehearsal photos taken by Chantal Guevara