Nick Roth Music

Sentient (2024)

Liz Roche Company

Sentient is an Unreal Cities commission for the Beckett: Unbound 2024 Festival from choreographer Liz Roche, in collaboration with Nathalie Forget and Nick Roth.

A major new full-length work for six dancers, saxophone and ondes Martenot, the piece responds to an innocuous-seeming passage in Samuel Beckett's Molloy where the author explores his wonder, and ‘unknowing', for the bees – “I often thought of my bees...and I thought above all of their dance, for my bees danced…in a different way.” (Les Éditions de Minuit, 1951)

Fascinated by German-Austrian ethologist Karl von Frisch's Nobel-prize winning description of the precise way in which bees communicate orientational information through movement, Beckett was one of the first writers to include this groundbreaking discovery into a work of fiction. Angela Moorjani in ‘Beckett and Animals' (Cambridge, 2013) notes that “the decoding of the honeybee genome in 2006, the year of the Beckett centenary, continues to leave neurobiologists awed by the unexplained cognitive abilities of these highly social hymenopterans. The rapture has not subsided.”

In a space somewhere between social urgency and urgent sociality, Sentient offers a new interpretation of what it is as a human being to be only one part of our natural world in its vast communicative complexities. The work travels through different atmospheres; exploring vibration, language, and group communication, with the performers collectively in adaptation to these changing environments.

Sentient by Liz Roche, is commissioned by Unreal Cities for Beckett: Unbound, Liverpool/Paris 2024, in association with the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool and the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris. Produced by Liz Roche Company. Sentient is funded by The Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealaíon and supported by Culture Ireland and through partnerships with The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick and TROIS C-L - Centre de Création Chorégraphique Luxembourgeois.

 

Performers: Sarah Cerneaux, Emily Terndrup, Mufutau Yusuf, Conor Thomas Doherty, Grace Cuny, Inez Berdychowska, Nick Roth, Nathalie Forget
Choreographer: Liz Roche
Composers: Nick Roth and Nathalie Forget
Voices: Jenny Roche and Adrian Dunbar
Set and Costume Design: Katie Davenport
Lighting Design: Sinead McKenna
Production Manager: Síofra Nic Liam
Stage Manager: Lisa Krugel
Producer: Gwen Van Spyk for Liz Roche Company
Producing Associate: Emer McMahon
Photographer and videographer: José Miguel Jiménez