Duke Performances

Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble
Education of the Girlchild Revisited

Friday, November 2, 2012 | 8:00 pm

Reynolds Industries Theater


“Well before just about every choreographer on the planet declared their allegiance to multidisciplinary work,” proclaims The New York Times, “Meredith Monk was creating pieces that defied characterization in their use of song, speech, movement, film, and images.” More than anyone else, Monk has sharpened our perceptions of the voice as pure instrument, the body as mythic force. Half a century deep into her pioneering extension of vocal possibilities, she still trades in pungent essences of beauty and simplicity. Now she brings her distinguished company to Duke Performances for a multifaceted extended residency. Celebrate the pivotal contributions of a master creator who justly claims to work “in between the cracks, where the voice starts dancing, where the body starts singing.”

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Crowning her Duke Performances residency, Meredith Monk revives one of her earliest, most influential, and most captivating solo performances at Reynolds Theater. In Education of the Girlchild, Monk fashions theatrical movement, costumes, and breathtaking singing into a poignant portrayal of an elderly woman living her life in reverse. Forty years after its debut, the work takes on powerful new dimensions.

In the second half, Monk and the women of her Ensemble offer the complementary Shards, for live synthesizer and voices, in which fragments of works from 1969 to 1973 (including Girlchild) are reimagined in luminous new forms. Shards aptly closes an unforgettable encounter with an artist unafraid to break every mold — even her own.

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