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20+ Artists Exploring Immigration In America In New Music Theatre Piece SWELL Opens July 13


20+ Artists Exploring Immigration In America In New Music Theatre Piece SWELL Opens July 13

SWELL is a music-theatre work that weaves together ten original avant-garde/new music compositions written by ten richly inventive composers drawing from their personal histories as immigrants and children of immigrants. Their unique, surprising, and deeply human stories are told through voice, piano, cello, and violin in this music-based contribution to the global immigration narrative. Their stories range from the first time a Mexican man steps foot on U.S. soil at the airport to navigating a new language in a new country and to what it means to go "home" when home isn't home anymore.

The company of 20+ artists, with immigrant backgrounds from India, Israel, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, and Trinidad have deftly assembled a quilt of contemporary sound that, in this workshop presentation, is gently enhanced by movement and video projection. Conceived by lyricist, librettist, and playwright Melisa Tien, and directed by Elena Araoz, SWELL explores the wildly varied and often complicated relationships immigrants and children of immigrants have with America.

"It's especially meaningful, right now, for all of us to see immigration with a wider lens, so that the subject isn't limited to what we learn from mass media reportage," says producer and lyricist Melisa Tien, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan before she was born. "Everything that it means to leave your current home for a new one is something I think lots of people will find they can relate to." Director Elena Araoz, whose father is an immigrant from Peru, adds "As people migrate, languages and cultures swirl, blend and shift. Through this workshop, I want to begin an experiment on how migrating and moving affects both the performance of the music and our perception of it."

This production is a part of SubletSeries@HERE: Co-op, HERE's curated summer rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as technical support.


Saturday 7/13 at 8:30pm, Sunday 7/14 at 4pm, Tickets $20

HERE, 145 6th Ave., New York, NY 10013 (Enter on Dominick, 1 Block South of Spring)


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