Constellation Chor

The New York Philharmonic

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Biography

Constellation Chor is an improvising vocal performance ensemble comprising composers, singers, dancers, and actors, founded by music theater and choral composer Marisa Michelson. In residence at the historic Judson Memorial Church, the Chor engages at the intersection of voice, movement, healing, meditation, storytelling, inner development, Oliveros’ Deep Listening, and music theater. Researching the interaction of mind / body / spirit practices with virtuosic singing, the Chor also explores performer as truth-seeker / shaman, and performance as an invitation to enter into an intimate relationship with the moment and each other.

Founded in 2016, Constellation Chor performs interdisciplinary pieces composed by Ms. Michelson and collaborates with other composers, choreographers, directors, and mindfulness practitioners. Projects have included Ms. Michelson’s Desire | Divinity Project (with director Ethan Heard and choreographer Emma Jaster), developed with Heartbeat Opera and supported by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and improvised site-specific pieces with Crowded Outlet, Alchemical Theatre, and Harpa Opera Center in Reykjavik. Current projects include a film installation of Ms. Michelson’s Sappho Fragments with filmmaker Paul Lieber; a collaboration with Butoh master Diego Piñon, produced by Shakina Nayfack; and an upcoming residency at Vermont’s Art Monastery.

Constellation Chor’s internationally and vocally diverse array of talent hails from Greece, Portugal, Hungary, Austria, and the U.S., and has been seen on stages from New York to Dubai, from BAM to Broadway. Chor members include Marisa Michelson, Chad Goodridge, Jen Anaya, Tamrin Goldberg, Shawn Shafner, Kalli Siamidou, Luisa Muhr, and Sarah Beth Pfeifer. Satellite and orbiting members include Nikko Benson, Nicole Coffaro, Sepideh Moafi, Marina Pires, Heathcliff Saunders, Raphael Sacks, Sara Serpa, Nickolas Vaughan, and Kinga Cserjesi.

The word “chor” in the group’s title derives from the Latin “cor” (heart, soul, mind) and the Greek “khoros” (to dance in a circle). It is also used to evoke the core, chorus, and choreography.

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