Community Group

Celandine: An Exercise in Social Dreaming

Polaris performs “Celandine: An Exercise in Social Dreaming,” a new choral work exploring our connection to the environment and others in the Past, the Present, and the Future.

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Celandine is a choral work, with poetry by Claire Bennet and music by Ryan Henwood, and will be performed live for the first time at Nocturne.

Celandine, meaning “joys to come” in the language of flowers, explores the transition from a busy life led by superficial desires (the Past), to a sudden absence of these structures in a time of isolation and questioning (the Present). The third section (the Future) represents a call to reconnect with nature, guided by a sense of community and transience. Each section includes a soundscape that explores echoes generated by the singers’ voices through repeated and improvised sounds. We have been sending polluted noise out into the world for so long, it is now time to pause, listen, and react to the music the environment is trying to relay to us, and imagine a joyful, hopeful future.
To be liminal is to be in between, and Celandine encapsulates the transition from past, to present, to future dreams. Liminality “is to see both past and future...to have left one way behind without yet being able to live what is ahead.” Celandine was written in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the adaptation required by the arts sector during this time. The Future was created from the choir members’ wishes for a post-pandemic world, imagining not only what the future could be but also what it should be. It’s ironic that only now, a year after writing, are we able to perform Celandine live. The Future is not yet realized, and we are still in this period of transition, trying to move forward together.

Public Health guidelines permitting, Polaris will perform Celandine in-person on the evening of October 16th. To augment the performance, video captured by Tim Mombourquette will be projected throughout the performance venue, referencing our virtual performance at Nocturne last year and creating visual interest.

Performance Live