Photography by Jeffrey M. Lewis
Pieces of Now was written in collaboration with IBIT Dance. The hour-long piece is an elegy and a memorial for Alexis Giallella who passed away in 2013 at age 16 after a battle with cancer. Choreographed by Brenda Lynn Siegel, the work is an emotionally absorbing experience that honors it's dedicatee and also draws awareness to childhood cancer at large.
The work has been performed numerous times in the northeast in a variety of venues including The American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, The Latchis Theater in Brattleboro, and The Lebanon Opera House in Lebanon. Every performance raises funds to benefit childhood cancer research and treatment.
The music for the Pieces of Now was written for the solo guitar and developed with the company through many rehearsals. The process, a series of directed improvisations created while watching the dancers in rehearsals and later refined to a polished composition, yielded a rich synergy between the music and the dance. Throughout the course of the work the listener (and viewer) is led into many different moods and emotional states culminating in the crux of the piece, an arrangement of the traditional "Amazing Grace" fused with the folk and country styles introduced in the opening of the work.
Each performance was an emotionally trying experience for performers and audience members alike. A multi-media presentation of interviews with family members reflecting on the experience of losing Alexis was particularly striking. The effect of the work as a whole is haunting and leaves one with a sense of awe at the depth and fragility of human life and mortality.
View more of Jeffrey's photos at Jeffrey M. Lewis