A rare book of modernist poetry is the partial inspiration for an evening of choreography, improvisation, music, and film on March 29 in Gerrard Hall.
The event will feature UNC’s Modernextension Dance Company and images of dancer Milča Mayerová from the 1926 book Abeceda, by Vítězslav Nezval.
The Rare Book Collection in the Wilson Special Collections Library recently acquired a copy of Abeceda, which was published in Prague in a single edition of 2,000 copies. Support from the Hanes Family Library Fund made this important acquisition possible.
Abeceda (or “Alphabet” in Czech) combines poetry, typography, and photography to offer an expressive interpretation of each letter of the Latin alphabet. It is today considered one of the most important works of European modernism.
This interactive event is designed for the audience to be on the same plane–or stage–as the dancers, so there will be plenty of opportunity to move freely through the space, shift vantage points, and interact with the dancers.
“Haunted pairs the unique ephemerality of improvisational dance with the choreographed stillness of the printed book,” said Matt Karkutt, who is both an employee at the Wilson Special Collections Library and a member of Modernextension. “The performance spotlights the ways that past lives contour the types of letters and movements we create today.”