A really interesting collaboration and outcome – Dance/Costume!

Culture and science coming together!?




“August 19, 2011 A dance/design collaboration between Harrison Atelier and choreographer Catherine Miller, PHARMACOPHORE explores Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, a novel driven by its protagonist’s search for a cure for her ennui. Emma Bovary places herself readily into the thrall of any object or idea, hoping to transcend what she terms her chronic “insufficiency.” In thinking about Madame Bovary as a narrative scaffold for PHARMACOPHORE, understanding the critical role in the novel of the character Homais, who is a pharmacist, we were struck by the structural resemblance, perhaps even the identity between Emma’s search for, and at times temporary achievement of, a cure for her malaise and the contemporary understanding of the placebo effect, whereby the desire that a drug will work temporarily triggers the release of neurotransmitters mimicking the sense of well-being.

The dramaturgy of PHARMACOPHORE recapitulates the stages of Emma’s desire for placebos, her cycle of anticipation, release, despair. The choreography and set design elements reiterate the centralizing idea of the piece: placebo (culture) and pharmacophore (science) co-exist, at times reinforcing, at times conflicting.

The piece was developed during a summer residency at the Orpheum Theater, Tannersville.

Direction & Dramaturgy: Seth Harrison, Harrison Atelier
Choreography: Catherine Miller
Visual Design: Ariane Harrison, Harrison Atelier
Performers: Reid Bartelme, Jenna Fakhoury
Catherine Miller, Lonnie Poupard, Jr.
Sound Designer and Composer: Loren Dempster
Musical Advisor & Pianist: Leon Livshin”



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About L.Calder

I am a designer maker mainly specialising in the field of textiles and design. I use colour changing and responsive dyes combined with simple electronics to create colourful pieces of work that can change depending on environment and programming. I also work with various materials and imagery to communicate concepts and ideas as well as create artefacts that are engaging and visually stimulating.

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