Dmitri Shostakovich: “The Overcoat”

Dmitri Shostakovich: “The Overcoat”
© photo courtesy American Conservatory Theater
Imagine this: 19th-century revolutionary Russian tale meets 20th-century Soviet musical imagination. Furthermore, the tale is completely portrayed through mime! What do you have? Gogol meets Shostakovich, in The Canadian Stage Company's production of Gogol's short-story, completely set to the music of Dmitri Shostakovich. Originally premiered at the Vancouver Playhouse in 1997, CanStage's production of THE OVERCOAT was co-created and directed by Morris Panych and choreographer Wendy Gorling. The result is a theater piece that is part dance, part drama, and part mime, and is Panych and Gorling's vision of dramatically exploring non-verbal ways of setting stories to music. The production was critically well-received and has since toured throughout Canada as well as America, Australia, Europe, and New Zealand. The most recent production was mounted in August 2005 at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. --------------------------------------------- "...Shostakovich's music is very adept in telling stories...And, because we have added very haunting music and been very specific about which piece of music goes with a particular part of the play, the music is really the third author...We built the play, movement by movement, with the music...The music breathes in and breathes out." — Wendy Gorling "Once the main idea is set, we allow, as much as possible, for the music to tell us the direction the story will take...The choice of music was easy...First, the dramatic Slavic character of [Shostakovich] really fits, but as importantly, the many layers of the orchestration allow for lots of movement interpretation..." — Morris Panych --------------------------------------------- Mark Your Calendar: Shostakovich Centennial Birthday 25 September 2006

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