La Mer (Four hands. Two dancers. Two films)

(double screen 16mm film transferred to 2k digital, live dance work and piano duet.)

A live performance event that combines Debussy’s masterwork in the composer’s version for piano duet, with dance and film.

Pianists: Imma Setiadi and Nigel Clayton
Dancers: Nana Apiah and Jessica Walker
Choreography: Tony Thatcher
Film: Graham Ellard and Stephen Johnstone

The visual inspiration for Debussy's 1905 orchestral triptych La Mer came from Turner whom Debussy praised as the “finest creator of mystery in art,” and Katsushika Hokusai, whose The Great Wave Off Kanagawa was the composer’s choice to adorn the title page of the score. Shortly after Debussy completed La Mer in March 1905, at the Grand Hotel Eastbourn overlooking the English Channel, he arranged the piece for piano for four hands.

The film was shot at Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance, The Royal College of Music, the beach at Deal and the Goodwin Sands, a ten mile long sandbank lying six miles off the coast at Deal, parts of which are exposed at low tide.