"...but it must be lived forwards" (2018)

Five horns (onstage quartet, solo offstage horn), and dance. 10'

​Written for and choreographed by Ginny Wheeler.

​“...but it must be lived forwards”, a collaborative work for music and dance, traces the emotional timeline of a protagonist who, starting from childhood, faces the pressures and trials of growing up and assumes the responsibilities of adulthood. While time ever presses her forward to new stages of life, she feels the pull of her past, the need to understand what has happened, and the desire to live inside the precious moments immediately in front of her. She is surrounded by four other dancers who at the same time represent the other characters populating her timeline and the outside forces ever drawing her forward. The music — comprising an onstage ensemble of four horns complementary to these dancers and an offstage horn that seeks to audiate the protagonist’s emotions and struggles — follows the same linear progression of events, but is composed of motives and phrases that have been intentionally reversed. This contradiction perpetually draws the listener backwards, into reflection and into the protagonist’s perspective. This work seeks to realize the pivotal moment where one must confront the implications of time. The title is drawn from a quote of Søren Kierkegaard, which begins, “Life can only be understood backwards....”

Performance History:

  • 5 May 2018, UNT School of Dance and Theater, Denton, TX. David Bontemps, Jung-Hsuan Chu, Michael Corey Johnson, Alex Weaver, horns; Eric Hessel, offstage horn; Claire Gingris, Alyssa Knapschafer, Claudia Torres, Julianna Trotter, Danielle Willis, dancers.