THE SEAM is an XR performance that blurs the boundaries between the virtual and physical worlds through the integration of live performance and a VR experience. The ensemble includes a pianist, electronic music, video projections, and seven sewing performers.
The pianist's presence goes beyond the virtual realm; they are physically present, adding a live element to the performance. This integration creates a sense of immediacy and connection to the virtual narrative.
THE SEAM combines the magic of live music with the immersive power of virtual reality, resulting in a truly unique experience. It takes audiences on a multidimensional journey that blurs the lines between reality and the virtual world, offering a captivating performance that engages both the senses and the imagination.
Musically, Jelena Dabic draws inspiration from folk songs and traditional children's songs originating from the Danube countries. The Danube, a river weaving through European nations, serves as a thematic backbone, shaping a suite organized into distinct chapters. Each chapter is anchored by a traditional song, sourced from one of the countries along the Danube's path.
As a historical and cultural trade route, the Danube both unites and delineates regions, people, and ideologies across Europe. The concept of a united Europe encompasses its inherent diversity and multiplicity. This rich tapestry of cultures, encompassing a spectrum of identities, collectively forms our shared essence. The music comes alive through interpretation, breathing a fresh vitality into each melody.
The countries embraced by the Danube's journey are interconnected, their borders resembling the stitches of a finely crafted fabric. These diverse cultures are inseparably interwoven, much like the components of a well-fitted garment—a shirt or a pair of pants, representing the mosaic of European nations. Just as the absence of a section, sleeve, or leg renders clothing incomplete, the unity of these cultures is essential for our collective strength and purpose.
THE SEAM, symbolizing connection, separation, enduring unity, and restoration in the context of a garment, parallels the role of the Danube as a unifying force. This symbolism underpins the essence of the work. Within this context, the pianist Marcelo Gama embodies the essence of the Danube. His compelling interpretation transcends music into an experiential journey, fulfilling dual roles as pianist and performer.
As the Danube Suite unfolds, a tapestry of diverse European fabric takes form. Following each movement, a distinct piece of clothing is donned by the pianist—a metaphor for countries, cultures, and their corresponding songs. By the composition's finale, the pianist stands adorned, a complete ensemble reflecting nations the river traverses. Yet, the intrusive hum of industrialization, akin to the cacophony of machines, disrupts the melody. Undeterred, the melody prevails, its resonance persevering. Europe's melodic unity transcends a mere patchwork, emerging as harmonious attire.
Indeed, the Danube embodies Europe's seam, stitching together nations with enduring threads of unity.
CONCEPT, COMPOSITION, SET DESIGN: DIRECTION: JELENA DABIC
PIANO/PERFORMANCE: MARCELO GAMA
ELEKTRONIC COMPOSTION: AREPABAHN
DIRECTION VR MOVIE: CHRISTIAN STRIBOLL
GUEST-DESIGNER: NIKOLA PANDUROV