Sunset o639 Hours
Choreographer: Matthew Neenan
Composer: Rosie Langabeer
Co-creator: Andrew Mars
Produced by BalletX,
Premiered in Philadelphia July 9th 2014
This new ballet is based on pilot Capt. Musick, his crew, and plane, the Samoan Clipper on the inaugural air mail service between New Zealand and the USA Dec 1937 – Jan 1938.
New York Times Article: The Choreographer Matthew Neenan of BalletX Nears the Stratosphere
“Ms. Langabeer’s contribution is crucial to the work’s evocation of period, place and dream. She and three other musicians play onstage, sometimes on eccentric electronic instruments invented by Neil Feather. It all supports Mr. Neenan’s choreographic fantasy: dancers as plane parts and passengers, crewmen and islanders, birds and letter writers, the missing and those who miss them.”
A version of this article appears in print on August 9, 2015, on page AR11 of the New York edition with the headline: A Choreographer Nears the Stratosphere.
Karangahape Cowboy – from Sunset, o639 Hours
New York Times Review: ‘Sunset, o639 Hours’ by BalletX at the Joyce Theater
“Mr. Neenan and Ms. Langabeer shrewdly integrate the 10 dancers with a band of four multi-instrumentalists. The music ranges from ’30s swing for a New Year’s Eve scene in Auckland (“This one goes out to the Captain,” Ms. Langabeer croons) to a woozy soundscape during an Act II layover in Pago Pago. Letters, read aloud, thread through the score, a reminder of the Captain’s cargo. The stage bristles with the energy of a busy transit hub, and Maiko Matsushima’s décor — four warped, suspended panels ascending on a diagonal — suggest both a steady takeoff and scattered debris.”
I Was A Diamond – from Sunset, o639 Hours
“The back and forth with Langabeer, whose own voice figures largely in love songs full of wistful yearning and completion, is golden. She plucks sound snippets from everywhere, evoking insect creatures, the very movement of earth and sea, sounds of machinery whirring and working—engines and electronica. The blast of brass, the thrum of strings.” Lisa Kraus, Thinking Dance