Magical Mystery Tour

"Modern Myths" explores mysteries and mythologies through music and dance

Delving into ancient mythologies, archetypes and mysteries from around the world, "Modern Myths" is a thought-provoking, dynamic showcase of music and dance inspired by ancient fables from around the world, the timeless poetry of Rilke, religious iconography and more. The multimedia program takes place at 7:30PM on Tuesday, Jan. 20 at the Harris Theater.

Presented by the Fulcrum Point New Music Project, an organization that champions new classical music and contemporary composers who are influenced by popular culture, "Modern Myths" features the world premiere of Chicago choreographer Melissa Thodos' dance piece entitled "Aries," which is set to a score of trumpet and electronic music by Karlheinz Stockhausen. Twelve members of Thodos Dance Chicago will take part, each representing a sign of the zodiac. They will be accompanied by trumpet player (and Fulcrum Point founder) Stephen Burns along with an electronic soundtrack.

Following "Aries" will be "Sonnets to Orpheus," composer Richard Danielpour's six-movement song cycle inspired by the writings of German-language poet Rilke. The composition features soprano Mary Mackenzie backed up by a 10-piece Fulcrum Point chamber ensemble.

The third part of the program is the dance piece "Vajrapani, Wielder of the Thunderbolt Scepter," by Tantric Buddhist dance master Prajwal Ratna Vajracharya. This 10-minute traditional sacred Nepalese Tantric dance invokes the mythical Buddhist warrior-protector.

The finale of "Modern Myths" is the American premiere of "Hayagriva" by Indian composer Param Vir. The musical piece is inspired by Vishnu, the horse-headed being associated with knowledge and wisdom in Indian and Tibetan literature. After the performance, guests are invited to meet the artists in attendance at a wine and cheese reception.

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