References to the city and tower of Babel are relatively scarce in the Bible. In fact, there are only nine verses in the book of Genesis that allude to the origin of the world’s various languages. However, the scant source material didn’t prevent co-creators WT McRae and Jeremy Williams from producing Babel, an acrobatic dance theater piece based on the story.
Williams directs the ambitious work which opened Sunday January 22nd at the Theater at the 14th Street Y. It runs through Sunday February 5th. Convergences Theatre Collective is the talented company behind this world premiere, which includes 22 dancers, vibrant costumes by Natalie Loveland, and original music by Julliard alums, Julie Zhu and Robert Fleitz.
According to the tale recorded in scripture, everyone on Earth spoke the same language. They went east to build a city and tower that would collectively bind them together. God looked at it, decided to confuse the language of the people, and scattered them over the whole earth. The people ceased building. The purpose of God’s actions continue to be debated, but many point to human pride as the cause of God’s destruction. Others view it as a means for God to have expressed cultural differences on the people.
Babel, according to the press release, “embodies the human desire to create, to connect, and to collaborate to overcome adversity building ambitious towers again and again.”
Babel gives of the ensemble members a featured moment throughout its’ 75 minute duration. The cast includes: Leo Abel, Casey Beauchamp, Bruce Brackett, Melissa Denize, Michael Eisenstein, Mark Ferrando, Brooke Ferris, Nora Gustuson, Jenna Hokanson, Eiko Kawashima, Sydney Ippolito, Charlie Kilgore, Zachary Koval, Ana Carolina Lima, Erica Lindegren, Melana Lloyd, Devin McDuffee, Rafa Reyes, Marisol Kimberly Rosa-Shapiro, Liz Stanton, and Juliana Suaide.
Babel. Now through February 5th at The Theater at the 14th Street Y (344 East 14th Street between 1st and 2nd aves.). For tickets and information, click here.