I created Voi Che Sapete for Erin Mahoney as part of the Blackbird Dance Company’s 2nd evening-length concert. Founded in 2001 with Jack Bettin, the Blackbird Dance Company (Robert Bettmann, Artistic Director) existed for just two years.
This solo was a partner to a ballet solo made the prior year for Jonathan Jordan. That solo – set to Dawn Upshaw’s recording of Purcell’s ‘I Attempt From Love’s Sickness to Fly’ – showcased the extrordinary facility of Mr. Jordan. It failed to make expressive use of his vocabulary, however, and with Voi Che Sapete I attempted to create something that worked both kinesthetically and emotively. My failure with the Purcell was in part through creating too simplistic of a representation for the dancer to fill. Both dances treat the issue of love.
I completed all but the center section of this piece before my first rehearsal with Erin. It benefits from the adaptations that we made in setting it, and also from the center section that she shaped strongly. This performance occurred at the Jack Guidone Theater in Washington, D.C. Thanks to a grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and private and in-kind donations (the dancers were not paid), we were able to tour this to New York (DNA), and Boston (Dance Complex) in July 2003.