Client: Amy Seiwert Editor: Ben Estabrook Videography: Rapt Productions Choreographer: Amy Seiwert Artists of Smuin Ballet
Some music insists on being made into ballets. In this case, it was the expressive and haunting voice of The Barefoot Diva, Cesaria Evora. From Cape Verde, she always performed barefoot as a show of solidarity with the poor women of the world. The depth of her voice captures the history and hope of these islands, a place with more ex-pats scattered across the globe than current residents. When asked, after two strokes and a heart attack, why she was retiring, she told the French newspaper Le Monde: "I have no strength, no energy. I'm sorry, but now I must rest." When Ms. Evora passed in 2011 the government in Cape Verde declared two days of national mourning in her honor. In creating, I kept coming back to the translation of São Tomé Na Equador as the heart of work: São Tomé, you have many of us, you are part of our history and our pain. In your nectar you have Bantu, Creole and Angolan. São Tomé, in your veins run only one blood. You were a place of suffering, but you can give happiness. If you behold all your children, São Tomé, you have richness. But the biggest treasure is the value and love of all your children, and their will of living together, in a small land where the grass is greener. São Tomé, São Tomé, don't forget who you fight for. São Tomé, São Tomé, in the equator of our pain. São Tomé, São Tomé, the long road is already coming closer, much closer of your future. The past is only weight. Resentment doesn't build anything. Reality is forgiveness, and forgiveness can be the union of all your children. São Tomé. Commissioned and performed by Smuin Ballet.