Carolina Performing Arts co-commissioned “The Day.” According to a press release about the performance, "The Day" premiered for the first time in July 2019, making its appearance at CPA its second public appearance.
The two parts of the show, entitled “The Day” and “World to Come,” are products of collaboration — special audio recorded for the performance will be played over the cello performance. The audio includes people's answers to the question, "What's the most memorable day of your life?"
“The voice you hear is Maya, as well, she made the recording, and she reads this text, which is a series of statements that David sourced from folks on the internet, and the beginning of the statement which you don't hear repeated over and over again is ‘the day’,” said Amy Russell, director of programming at CPA.
For Beiser, this collaboration is best seen on the stage between the cellist and the dancer.
“I think in some ways the dancer is telling the story," Beiser said. "It's an abstract story, but she is conveying a lot of the things that the music in its abstract way takes you on this other journey. So sometimes they have parallel journeys, sometimes they speak to each other, but they're always influencing each other.”
Russell also said the performance was heavily influenced by the events of 9/11.
“The story is that David was writing these two pieces of music for Maya around the same time that 9/11 took place,” Russell said. “And so that had a distinct impression, and ultimately changed the way that the pieces emerged.”
The two parts of the performance address the subject matter in different ways.
“The part of the work that is called "The Day" is really trying to grasp, Maya says it really well, she says it's trying to capture our lives as they're running away from us," Russell said. "So, what are these most critical moments that we remember? And trying to interject that into the piece. And of course, the second part is basically a response to all of those people vanishing on 9/11.”
Russell hopes that members of the audience will walk away from the performance willing to re-examine how connected we all are.
“I think regardless of if you're a student or if you're just an audience member who buys a ticket to the performance, I think you will have this thought, examining your own life in the context of your community,” Russell said.
Beiser said she is most excited for the audience to experience the end of the performance. But after years in the making, she said she wouldn’t dream of give away the ending.
“But the very end of the piece, Lucinda didn't want to choreograph it until we finished the entire piece, and it was only when we actually did the production, the final tech production, of the piece that the end sort of became apparent to all of us,” Beiser said. “And it's really powerful.”