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Medea at Sunset (2016)
a dance opera

for vocal ensemble, orchestra, tap shoes, field recordings

Film siren Monica Vitti from Antonioni’s 1964 film Red Desert collides with prima donna Maria Callas from Pasolini’s 1969 film Medea at golden hour. But they sing in my mother tongue in this fever dream. Against the backdrop of ’60s Italian cinema is a refugee crisis sensationalized by media coverage of a swimming woman fit for the 2016 Olympic Refugee Team. Seneca’s text about the displaced woman who kills her children falls into the sea. Language in translation fails the migrant. Love as an Olympic sport brings the crowds. In this movie, Medea is ingénue, Medea is mothering tool, Medea is you and me.


Written, Composed, and Directed by Michelle Sui
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