“In the tradition of the ‘total work,’ Fain’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 Critique

Thom Donovan, Art Critic

(c) Miana Jum

(c) Miana Jum

THE COMMONS CHOIR, a core and variable cast of roughly 30 singers, actors, dancers, poets, musicians, composers and people, is the performative aspect of the Prosodic Body, a new field of research founded by Daria Fain and Robert Kocik, that explores language as sound, embodiment and utmost expression. Tone, intention, rhythm, gesture, the tacit, hesitation, interaction evocation and even cosmogenesis are all acts of prosody. The Prosodic Body is a practice that manifests in various areas: principally performance, architecture, health, education and socioeconomic justice.

We are at once deeply committed to the cultural cruciality of poets and performers. We call this social aspect of our work 'commoning'. One branch of our commoning work is our COMMONS CHOIR, started in 2008. The choir draws upon the breadth of our prosody research to create performances that carry socially-charged issues. Typically, surrounding our choir events, we organize symposiums, talks and teach-ins covering matters such as economic justice, income distribution, biochemistry as endogenous alchemy, universal entitlement, usury laws, plebiscite, artificial scarcity, gratitude, levity, accumulation, the history of privatization and choreoprosodia (the full fusion of poetry and movement).

The Commons Choir has created a versatile repertoire amounting to 4 hours of material that includes:

  • Pure movement/vocal sequences related to energy centers and neuro-hormonal secretions and various biological functions
  • Poetic speeches and dialogues that address current social, political and economic crises
  • Songs

This repertoire is reconfigured according to the venue and the occasion of the performance.

  • The Commons Choir can perform from 10 minutes to 4 hours.
  •   The Commons Choir can perform with 2 to 30 performers.
  •  The Commons Choir can perform anywhere from the street to small theater, to hospitals, hospices or large theaters.
  • The Commons Choir creates work internationally with local chorus performers and asks questions relevant to their environment.
  • The Commons Choir gives workshops and lecture/demonstrations.

For more information about funding and institutional support go to Biography.

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