The Hopkins Center to Premiere ‘The Ritual of Breath Is the Rite to Resist’

By Francisco Salazar

The Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth is set to premiere “The Ritual of Breath Is the Rite to Resist.”

The chamber opera is a response to the murder of Eric Garner and the ongoing loss of Black life at the hands of police. Commissioned and produced by the Hop, and co-commissioned by Stanford Live, the theatrical event leverages the power of music, song, dance, visual art, and text projection to create a meditative experience that encourages synchronized communal breathing.

The work will be presented at the Hop on Sept. 16 and 17, and then at Stanford Live on Oct. 14 and 15.

The work follows Erica who has lost her father to police violence. An artist and activist, Erica calls on her community to create and participate in a ritual of healing. The work is by Enrico Riley and Jonathan Berger, who joined forces in 2016 to collaborate on a project that would serve to help process the ongoing violence faced by marginalized communities.

Niegel Smith will direct the work with Kamna Gupta conducting and Neema Bickersteth performing the lead soprano role. Trebian Pollard and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar choreographed the production.