RSVP XXI: 'Evangeline'
Tuesday and Wednesday, May 31 and June 1, 2016
8 p.m., Pavilion, Performing Arts Center
The Cal Poly Music Department student production ensemble RSVP will stage the multi-layered production "RSVP XXI: Evangeline" at 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, May 31 and June 1, in the Performing Arts Center Pavilion.
RSVP is known for celebrating electroacoustic diversity and compositional risk. For the first time in its 21-year history, the ensemble is producing a ballet — though far from the traditional classical notions of that genre.
Inspired by Longfellow's epic poem "Evangeline," a romantic story of true love in the wake of the Acadian deportation, RSVP superimposes this story onto the diasporic, political and religious realities of today's Middle East.
"It holds a mirror to timely issues such as the consequences of imperialist action, politically generated fear mongering, and the plight of refugees," said Antonio G. Barata, artistic director of the RSVP concert series. "This year's production follows the original poem's story of Evangeline and Gabriel's love, separation, search and finding each other again, but with a real up-to-date twist. The production uses the original story as a vehicle for exposing Middle East issues, not as a means for espousing a particular political perspective, but as a humanitarian one."
In preparation for guiding this production, Barata has spent the last several years studying Arab and Persian histories, Islamic culture, and Israeli and Palestinian conflicts.
The music, soundscape and staging combine the creativity of students in Barata's Sound Design classes with the choreography of Diana Stanton, a Theatre and Dance Department faculty member, and the students in her dance classes.