Photos by Lawrence K. Ho courtesy of the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
The Chandelier – Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts – 2021
"This piece was a massive undertaking that was filled with imaginative details and expressive dance and movements. Kudos again, to the strong, committed dancers who performed it."Valerie-Jean MillerBroadway World
"'The Chandelier' is an exceptional work of great depth and I hope you will continue to present it as a part of your repertoire."Tam WarnerLA Dance Chronicle
August 2021 – The Chandelier is an epic site-specific journey based on the novel of the same name: The Chandelier by Brazilian author Clarice Lispector. Lispector is considered one of the greatest female writers of the 20th century. Her prose is complex and embedded with meaning, and Heidi Duckler brings it to life with movement. HDD’s The Chandelier is non-traditional and place-based and provides a new look at this tragic coming-of-age story told from the perspective of a young girl. Duckler animates the book’s interior monologues and devises characters from odd fragments of dialogue to create a moving portrait of a family living amid the ruins of a colonial society. Through layers of imagery, acts of repetition, and the architecture of the Wallis itself, Duckler explores the contrasting ideas of impermanence and the irrevocable.
The Chandelier was originally slated to be premiered at the Wallis in Spring of 2020, but was postponed due to the pandemic. Over the past year, HDD explored the possibilities for the work through a Zoom performance titled Illuminating the Chandelier. Reflecting on the text in the virtual space was challenging and rewarding, revealing hidden depths to the text. More about this creative process and exploration of online site-specific work can be viewed in HDD’s original behind-the-scenes film The Making of Illuminating the Chandelier, filmed and edited by Nicolas Savignano.
The company was excited to expand on what was created then with new movement and utilization of space in the non-traditional, site-specific way that HDD always does. In the year between Illuminating the Chandelier and world premiere of The Chandelier at The Wallis, the performance transformed and, in response to the nature of the pandemic, adopted a national feel. Dancers from around the country, including the Pacific Northwest, Minneapolis, Nashville, and Chicago, joined together in Los Angeles to put up this special piece of theater. The piece is set to an original composition for the cello by Isaac Takeuchi, who performs live and accompanies the dancers. HDD and The Wallis were excited to come together for the first live dance performance to grace The Wallis since the pandemic!
Illuminating the Chandelier – Zoom Performance – 2020
April 2020 – Commissioned by The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, The Chandelier was originally slated to premiere this spring, but postponed due to the pandemic. Illuminating the Chandelier acted as a precursor to the live performance.
Adapted to address social distancing circumstances during the Covid-19 pandemic, Illuminating The Chandelier explored a new language of intimacy as people rely on technology to connect to the arts and each other. We used innovative methods to piece together movement phrases from the cast’s homes into one cohesive performance. The work featured dancers, musicians, composers and designers working collaboratively from afar to create a fully immersive show that audiences around the world enjoyed!