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Halcyon presents The Dance of Life

October 20, 2023 @ 7:00 pm

Halcyon presents The Dance of Life, featuring artistic director and co-founder, Jenny Duck-Chong, alongside an extended cast of Halcyon friends and familiars. At the heart of this celebration of art music are 25 years of craft, collaboration and creation. The Dance of Life is a celebration of existence in all its varied shades, and a tribute to Halcyon’s longevity, as well as the rich diversity of music and people that have characterised its history.

A collection of intimate chamber music, from Elliott Carter’s spectral atmospheres to Ross Edwards’ lush depictions of nature, the duet is the starring form of the program. Halcyon’s ensemble, a chameleon in its configuration, evolves and blooms across the program, the narrator of life from its smallest corners to its largest, most symbolic networks. As it blossoms, life is reflected in the smallest flutter of insect wings in Rachel Clement’s fracture, to the spellbinding glow of the moon in Rósa Lind Page’s Claire de Lune.

The culmination of the program, Elliott Gyger’s This Kind of Life, is a nod to both these moments of simplicity and to the significance of connection and friendship. This culinary narrative, a series of letters between chef Julia Child and her pen-pal, Avis DeVoto, is part of a long history of collaborations between Elliott Gyger and Jenny Duck-Chong, friends since university. Commissioned by one of Halcyon’s most significant supporters, Ian Dickson, for his partner Reg Holloway as a birthday gift, the piece was premiered in Halcyon’s 20th year and Elliott’s 50th.

Each of the works in The Dance of Life are as much a celebration of the growth and perseverance of the ensemble as they are a testament to the cultivated circle of musicians, artists and people who have become part of Halcyon’s community. Join Halcyon for a jam-packed concert of reminiscence and celebration.

The program features works by Kaija Saariaho, Rósa Lind Page, Rachel Clement, Alisha Redmond, Elliott Carter, Nigel Butterley, David Lumsdaine, Ross Edwards and Elliott Gyger.

Jane Sheldon soprano, Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano, Jane Bishop flute, John Lewis clarinet, James Larsen cello, Rowan Phemister harp and Jo Allan piano, Jack Symonds conductor

The Choirs Rehearsal Studio can be found behind the STC Box Office, in the breezeway, opposite the Sydney Dance Company

Tickets $50/$35 senior concession/$30 student concession
Click here to buy

Image: ‘Fireworks’ © Kathryn Cooper.
’Fireworks’ depicts a flock of starlings reacting to a bird of prey.


Choirs Rehearsal Studio
Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, Pier 4/5, Hickson Road
Dawes Point, NSW 2000 Australia
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