Sic Transit is my ballet score for last year’s inaugural Ballet Sun Valley festival, dreamt-of and directed by the unstoppable Isabella Boylston and choreographed by the very gifted choreographer, Gemma Bond. I wish I had video!
The piece is all about the full solar eclipse that passed over the US last year, with the arc of totality going through Sun Valley. The festival happened to take place during Eclipse Week, so naturally we made that the topic. Here’s where a bunch of us watched the eclipse itself:
An eclipse suggests a problematic form — a too-simple, too-symmetrical arc. So we balanced the physical phenomenon against the spiritual dimension of experiencing the event, where one is transformed afterward, distorting the arc. For our ballet, the full eclipse was in near-darkness on stage (a striking contrast to Kate Duhamel’s vibrantly-lit set), with music descending to near-quiet. Afterwards, Isabella and her partner dance a pas de deux to bring us out of the darkness and back into the light.
Many thanks to the Ballet Sun Valley Orchestra and Martin West for the fantastic performance, and to the festival for letting me share it. And of course to Isabella, Gemma, and Kate. I hope you enjoy the score!