Anchises, a collaboration between choreographer Jonah Bokaer and the design firm Harrison Atelier, receives its New York City premiere this Fall. Inspired by the story of Anchises, the father of Aeneas, Bokaer's Anchises embodies the centuries-old conflicts between filial loyalty and progress, compassion and expedience, which have expressed themselves in many forms through the ages, most recently in the institutionalization of the aged. In Virgil's The Aenead, Anchises is carried out of the burning Troy on the shoulders of Aeneas, who was later to establish the city of Rome. Aeneas's loyalty to his dying father and the decimated city of Troy metaphorically express the issues of moral responsibility.
Anchises, which abstracts the narrative, distilling it to its essential moral, philosophical and human questions, takes place in nine powerful scenes during which the set, comprised of a series of modules, is created and recreated by the dancers as the performance moves through centuries. The work is set to a commissioned score by Loren Dempster, and performed by a cast ranging in age from 24 to 75 years: Valda Setterfield, Meg Harper, Catherine Miller, James McGinn, and Jonah Bokaer. The lighting is by Aaron Copp and costumes by Christophe de Menil.