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Photos © Cheryl Mann

Hungry Ghosts

Commissioned by The Joffrey Ballet, Chicago, 2024

Performed at The Lyric Opera House, Chicago 15-25 February, 2024

 

Choreographer: Stina Quagebeur

Principal dancers: Anais Bueno and Hyuma Kiyosawa

Performed by the Lyric Opera Orchestra, conducted by Scott Speck

Solo Cello: Ana Kim

Solo piano: Jorge Ivars

 

'"The music by Jeremy Birchall — a blend of live orchestra and recorded tracks — is the perfect container for Quagebeur’s choreography. She does a fine job in the quieter moments, …but it’s a swirling cacophony that sweeps up Bueno and Kiyosawa in a blurry, unhinged corps de ballet that really captures the tragedy, trauma and abdication of will associated with addiction."

Lauren Warnecke, Chicago Tribune ★★★★

"Jeremy Birchall’s music was absolute perfection: alternately discordant and mellifluous; simultaneously strident and harmonic. I trust I’m not trespassing when I say that clearly neither Quagebeur nor Birchall learned about addiction by reading about it in a book – their intimate sophistication can only be gained the hard way." 

Sarz Maxwell, Buzz Center Stage

"Stina Quagebeur’s “Hungry Ghosts,” a work set to an ideal score by Jeremy Birchall that captures the obsession and emotional isolation of those addicted to opioids (such drugs as heroin, fentanyl and others)…The response of the enormous opening night audience could not have been more intense or fully deserved."

Hedy Weiss, WTTW, Chicago

"This hard-edged piece, with its operatic drama and cinematic stage effects mirroring the murky chaos of the woman’s drug-addicted life, is backed by Jeremy Birchall’s electronic-tinged music, which has a dissonant touch that suits the ballet’s dark-blue nature."

Hugh Iglarsh, Newcity

"Quagbebeur's choreography has a perfect edge of menace and darkness blending with the haunting music of Jeremy Birchall."

Kathy D Hey, Third Coast Review ★★★★

"Jeremy Birchall’s music faithfully parallels the ballet’s emotional odyssey; adding to its depth and intensity."

City Pleasures, Chicago

"Light, shadow, and facial expressions are used to significant effect here, as are sound and Jeremy Birchall’s score. A repeated sound like a sharp match being lit, the use of a black background, and dancers in shadow (creating a uniform look and making indistinguishable the features of individual dancers) nod to the way that drug dependence can render people incapable of anything but servitude to themselves and their addiction."

JT Newman, Chicago Reader

Minju Kang and Jonathan Hanks in Nostalgia, a ballet by Stina Quagebeur

NOSTALGIA

Nostalgia captures that bittersweet emotion.

A state of longing, poignancy, a piercing joy as well as an acute awareness of passing time.

It recognises the light and dark, it’s a quiet force that transforms our pain and connects us together.

Nostalgia, Northern Ballet, 2022

Performed at Leeds Playhouse 10-17 September and Royal Opera House, Linbury Theatre, 1-3 November 2022

Choreographer: Stina Quagebeur

Designer: Louie Whitmore

Principal dancers: Minju Kang and Jonathan Hanks

Photography © Emma Kauldhar

"Set to Jeremy Birchall's contemplative mood music..."

Debra CraneThe Times

 

 

"Good, better, best was the satisfying trajectory of Northern Ballet’s terrific programme of three original short works" 

Rupert Christiansen, The Spectator

 

"The music by Jeremy Birchall is an evocative soundscape that serves the purposes of the ballet well" 

Mike Dixon, Dance Europe

 

 

"...the haunting music of Jeremy Birchall..." 

Graham Watts, Bachtrack

 

 

"Quagebeur, responding to Jeremy Birchall's pensive score for piano and strings..."

Donald Hutera, The Stage

 

"The music captures their moods perfectly..."

David Mead, Seeing Dance

 

"Quagebeur's lyrical choreography fits snugly within the framework of Birchall's phrasing"

Deborah Weiss, Dance for You Magazine

Catching Colour, English National Ballet and The Line, 2022

Choreographer: Stina Quagebeur

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