The Horse
2022-23. LAND/Long Beach Opera

The Horse, a 45 minute immersive performance, installation, and film directed, choreographed and performed by Chris Emile. Developed during a three month creative residency, The Horse is the result of a collaborative process between Emile, sound architect Cody Perkins, vocalist Alevonallure, lighting designer Jason Fox, and a small circle of West African drummers with guidance from Vodun practitioners.

The Horse evokes the supernatural experience of spiritual possession. In Vodun tradition, a “horse” is a person possessed, being “ridden” by a possessing deity. In combining somatic practice, theology and research into the origins of ballet, Emile reassesses what traditional balletic training deems the role of the performer/dancer. The resulting work embodies ancestral knowledge, reverence for African religions, the human-divine connection, and, in reintroducing catharsis into performance, reclaims the relationship between body and spirit.

Copyright © 2021 | CHRIS EMILE