Performed at Sydney Opera House in 2018, The Gauntlet is a genre-bending performance work, which combines choirs and vocal ensembles, contemporary choreography and site-specific storytelling. The unusual work allows the audience to pass through a ‘corridor’ of choir singers, with vocal tones and phases ‘passed’ from performer to performer.
In this newly commissioned film, composer Sxip Shirey and choreographer Coco Karol discuss what it takes to create an immersive piece of this nature. Featuring footage of performances at Sydney Opera House, Rockefeller Centre and The Cleveland Museum of Art, the husband and wife creative duo reflect on the genesis of the work and the challenges they faced to continue its development throughout the pandemic.
The complex creative process finds Shirey and Karol running workshops with local community members to develop gestures and text for each iteration of the work. Workshops include “movement interviews” which delve into each participant’s experience of “home” and “belonging”, which are then expanded into wider social themes.
This short film delves into how and why this performance exists and the important of the stories it tells.