Preview Sufjan Stevens’ Score For Justin Peck’s New Ballet Principia
One thing about Sufjan Stevens: He loves writing music for ballets. Over the years, Stevens has worked again and again with Justin Peck, the Resident Choreographer of the New York City Ballet. Over the past seven years, Stevens and Peck have collaborated on three different productions: 2012’s Year Of The Rabbit, 2014’s Everywhere We Go, and 2017’s The Decalogue. And soon, they’ll debut their next collaboration. (If you’re keeping score at home, that’s four Sufjan Stevens ballet scores in the time it’s taken Sufjan Stevens to release one solo studio album.)
Today on his Tumblr, Stevens posted a trailer for Peck’s new production Principia, set to open later this month. Per the NYC Ballet, Principia is “loosely based on Isaac Newton’s revolutionary Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which documents the Laws Of Motion.” In the minute-long video, we see what appears to be rehearsal footage of dancers moving to Stevens score, which, from what we hear in the video, is a flighty piano instrumental with no other instruments. Here’s the preview:
On his site, Stevens writes:
The new ballet is called “Principia,” based on the work of Isaac Newton and inspired by the neo-classical architecture of Étienne-Louis Boullée, who designed Newton’s Cenotaph (though it was never built). We can think on the order of the universe to better understand our role in it. Ballet is a great vehicle for investigating the basic principles of life—of movement, physics, thought, aesthetics, politics, and behavior. New York City Ballet is a great company to see right now as they undergo big changes and return to form. We live among the chaos and according to the laws of nature (and society). Let us not forget ourselves for what we have become. Let us remember who we are called to be.
Principia opens 1/31, and you can buy tickets here.