Bear Witness is a large-scale choreographed theatrical narrative embedded in the body of a choir. Part autobiography and part fairy tale, Bear Witness uses a multi-voiced choir as a metaphor for the human body. The work explores a common human tendency to bury or hide stories deep within our bodies. Touching on events of both trauma and joy, the work follows a journey of excavation and re-interpretation of a personal history.
Created in collaboration with director Jennifer Tarver, conductor Christine Duncan (The Element Choir), performer and choreographer Susanna Hood, and choreographer and writer Sara Porter.
Jennifer Tarver is a director and creator, working internationally in both theatre and opera. Born in New York City she trained as a classical musician before settling in Toronto in 1999. She has directed for the major theatre companies of the region including The Tarragon, Canadian Stage Company, Soulpepper, Nightwood Theatre, and five seasons at the Stratford Festival, as well as companies in the United States including the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, The Longwharf Theatre, and Hartford Stage in Connecticut. She is currently the dramaturge for a new opera, Pomegranate, which she will direct for the Canadian Opera Company in 2022.
“a remarkable feat of storytelling and reportage”
Toronto // The Theatre Centre (Premiere) // March 2014
Montreal // Usine C // April 2014
Calgary // High Performance Rodeo // January 2015
Vancouver // PuSh International Performing Arts Festival // February 2015
Mumbai // Mumbai Lit Festival
Luxembourg City // Fundamental Monodrama Festival // June 2016
Darwin, Australia // Darwin Festival // August 2017