5 minutes, 15 seconds
Prelude #7 for Piano
Ron Snippe after Norberto Chiesa
March 18, 1968
Toronto Workshop Productions theatre
Amelia Itcush, Barry Smith
Angelic Visitation #1 was created on Patricia Beatty's company, the New Dance Group of Canada, at her Cumberland Street studio in 1967.
In Christian tradition the Annunciation is the visitation of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary to announce to her God's desire that she should bear his son on Earth. This duet opens with Mary sleeping on the angel's back. She sits up several times as if she hears her name. Suddenly, the angel discloses his presence and they dance in awe of the import of this moment. At the climax, the angel holds Mary oft in cruciform position in which she seems to accept her son's destiny and in a moment is asleep again on his back, her hand involuntarily falling on her womb -- as if a dream revealed the first stirring of new life.
The set was interwoven tubes of gold metal that made a Gothic pavilion intended to imitate paintings of the Madonna in a protective environment.
Interview with David Earle, July 22, 2002
Intuition is one of those curious things that happens early in your career as a choreographer when you are working with a great well of expression that hasn't yet been tapped … when creation of the movement is mostly instinct. There's purity to that. I feel the piece was inspired by Martha Graham's film A Dancer's World. There was something very archetypal and yet humane about that film's images, specifically the duets.
The movement in Angelic Visitation suggests that when both our masculine and feminine sides are joined together in love, we become creative beings. This idea represents the overall concept of the piece -- it was how I wanted to interpret the Annunciation. Mary's angel was inside of her -- all our angels are inside of us. And desire is an essential part of all creation.
Amelia Itcush and Artis (Barry) Smith were the original cast for Angelic Visitation #1. Amelia was a technical phenomenon and a tremendous asset. She had absolute commitment to the emotion of every piece. Germaine (Merle) Salsberg and Keith Urban also performed Angelic Visitation #1. Germaine was incredibly musical. She was a compact mover, jumper and turner and had a gift for comedy. She possessed 'psychic density' -- a term we used for many of our most exciting and charismatic dancers.