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DSO Will Premiere Pharrell Williams’ First Composition For Live Dance And Theater
by Anne Bothwell 1 Oct 2015
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Pharrell Williams. Photo: Mimi Valdes via NPR.org.

Pharrell Williams will join choreographer Jonah Bokaer and artist Daniel Arsham to create a work that will debut at Soluna, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s music and arts festival, next year. The collective will create a performance project called “Rules of the Game.”

Williams is a prolific producer, singer, rapper and writer.  Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” “Happy,” the theme song to “Despicable Me,”  and DaftPunk’s “Get Lucky” are just a few of the earworms he’s had a hand in. He’s also designed fashion and curated arts shows. But this will be his first time composing for theater  and live dance. The DSO will perform the music he creates for the piece. While Boaker is a choreographer, he’s known for collaborating to blur the lines across mediums, including visual arts, theater and moving images. His dance company will perform in the piece. Here’s a preview of a piece that he created for the Guggenheim Museum in 2011.

Arsham too works across mediums and has created set designs in the past, notably for Merce Cunningham. It’ll be the first time the trio has all worked together, but they’ve got a tangled history.  Here’s how the DSO explains it:

Arsham’s “collaborations with Bokaer, who he met through Cunningham’s company, began in 2007 and over the past eight years, the duo have created a unique scenic language exploring themes of spacial reorientation and the pasage of time. Arsham and Williams have collaborated, beginning in 2013, when he cast Williams’ Casio MT500 keyboard, a formative part of his musical development, in volcanic ash, crystal and steel. The following year, Arsham cast Williams’ entire body for GIRL, Williams’ curatorial debut at Galerie Perrotin. The gallery represents Arsham and has collaborated in the past with Williams and Bokaer.”

“Rules of the Game” will premiere on May 17. Ticket info will be announced later.