Jonah Bokaer | The Commons Choir (Daria Faïn & Robert Kocik)

Co-produced by Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation, Inc and The Prosodic Body LLC

January 7-8, 2019 at 7:30pm

Center for Performance Research

361 Manhattan Avenue, Unit 1

Brooklyn, NY 11211


mayday heyday parfait

Created collaboratively by The Commons Choir lead Daria Faïn & Robert Kocik

Running time: 45 minutes

“In the tradition of the ‘total work,’ Faïn’s and Kocik’s somatic opera - one I would argue approaches the scale and virtuosity of a Meredith Monk, Laurie Anderson, or Robert Ashley - seems something both old and new for poetry. A return to things Greek – a Dionysian atmosphere redolent with 60s theatre and intermedia performance."

Thom Donovan, art and performance critic

11102017 The Commons Choir 09587.jpg

© Ryan Muir, 2017

“Isn’t it imperative/ to cross the sea/ to cross the street/ this time around/ to go straight to the wound/ and do not touch”

From the libretto by Robert Kocik

mayday heyday parfait sets humanity’s troubles and highest aspirations to song, dance, and poetry, exploring the human capacity for empathy across difference. A diverse cast of nine performers weaves a multi-layered narrative of complex musical harmonies and highly personal movement – from the violence of history that brought us to where we are now, to a way forward where individuals follow their own paths and yet still feel their connection to others. Like the title whimsically references: MAYDAY (distress signal, call for help) HEYDAY (period of great success) PARFAIT (French: perfect; layered concoction), our stories and our histories are irreducible and interdependent. Our collective force may be strong if we can find a way to undiscover ourselves and meet again.

mayday heyday parfait originally premiered in November 2017 at BRIC Arts Media, culminating a two-year residency. For the APAP performances, The Commons Choir will perform a condensed version of the original 90 minute piece performed by a cast of 25 performers including dancers, actors, singers and community members. The work of The Commons Choir continues to exist after the live performances as a living document. Once premiered the pieces continues their life through a multitude of incarnations adapted to budget, performers availabilities, the occasion and the venue.

“Seeing the work as it comes together is a unique experience, because the process — the interplay of the multi-ethnic and multilingual cast —presents its own challenges. In order to make the show itself, artists had to find ways to build trust and ways of relating and communicating with one another. In a very fundamental way, the show is a microcosm.”

HYPERALLERGIC by Alexis Clements, 2016