produced with Richard Jordan Productions UK.
Century Song is a live performance hybrid created by powerful soprano Neema Bickersteth, and Dora-award winning collaborators Ross Manson (direction) and Kate Alton (choreography).
Inspired in part by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and Alice Walker’s In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens, Bickersteth seamlessly melds song and movement to inhabit a century of women whose identities are contained within her own.
This exquisitely unique show features music by some of the past 100 years’ most adventurous composers, as well as projections by Germany’s fettFilm – extraordinary visuals that bring alive major art movements of the 20th century. Both whimsical and riveting, Century Song is a wordless chronicle of the age, built from art.
Century Song has been developed by the Toronto-based, international award-winning performance company, Volcano, in partnership with Crooked Figure Dances, the Moveable Beast Collective, and Richard Jordan Productions UK.
Photography by: John Lauener and Dahlia Katz
1915: Sergei Rachmaninoff (Russia)
1935: Olivier Messiaen (France)
1950: John Cage (USA)
1978: Georges Aperghis (Greece)
2015: Reza Jacobs (Canada)
Soprano, Co-Creator | Neema Bickersteth
Choreographer, Co-Creator | Kate Alton
Director, Co-Creator | Ross Manson
Composition and Improvisational Themes | Reza Jacobs
Piano, Structured Improvisations, Music Co-Direction | Gregory Oh
Percussion, Computers, Structured Improvisations, Music Co-Direction | Debashis Sinha
Costume Designer | Charlotte Dean
Set Designer | Camellia Koo
Lighting Designer | Rebecca Picherack
Projection Designers | Torge Møller & Momme Hinrichs (fettFilm, Germany)
Associate Video Designers | Cameron Davis, Kaitlin Hickey, Jeremy Mimnagh
UK Producer: Richard Jordan Productions
Assistant Director | Mariel Marshall /Michela Sisti
Stage Manager: Kai-Yueh Chen, Emilie Aubin
January 2016: Century Song returns to Toronto as part of the Progress Festival at the Theatre Centre.
May 2016: Century Song tours throughout the United Kingdom and Belgium: The Lowry, Manchester; mac Birmingham; Artsdepot, London and de Bijloke, Ghent.
April 2017: Nightwood presents Century Song's return to Toronto at the new Crow’s theatre.
Awards & Nominations
2016 Dora Award Nominee (Musical Theatre Division) for:
Outstanding Production: Century Song
Outstanding Performance – Female: Neema Bickersteth, Century Song
Outstanding Direction: Ross Manson, Century Song
Outstanding Choreography: Kate Alton, Century Song