Angels of Swedenborg

1985–1989
Dance, Theater

About the Production

Angels of Swedenborg is a dance theater piece that features eight angels, two spirits, and a beast of the field cavorting in a corral of white feathers alongside a modern day office space inhabited by Emmanuel Swedenborg. Although he embodied the European Enlightenment in many ways, 18th Century scientist and philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg experienced extensive visions that he claimed transported him to heaven and hell. Ping Chong first encountered Swedenborg through Jorge Luis Borges' singular work The Book of Imaginary Beings and was inspired to re-imagine Swedenborg as a contemporary man caught between his longing for material comfort and spiritual attainment. Or, read another way, it is a portrait of modern man's disconnect from his spiritual self.

Production Team And Cast

Conceived, Written and Directed by

Ping Chong

Assistant Director

John Fleming

Choreography

Ping Chong and John Fleming

Lighting Design

Jim Card

Sound and Production Design

Mac Dimmitt

Costume and Prop Design

Mel Carpenter

Technical Director

Dennis O'Shea

Set Design

Ping Chong

Cast

Eric Heffel, Lynn Book, Jan Bartoszek, Sheree Blakemore, Vincent Dopulous, Bob Eisen, Herb Lichtenstein, Donna Mandal, Robert A. Stern, Marie Chambers, Elyssia Hatch, Harkonen

Performance History

Premiere

MoMing Dance and Art Center, Chicago, IL (April 1985)

Tours

Walker Art Center (May 1985)

Illusion Theatre (October 1985)

St. Louis Art Museum (March 1986)

Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, OH (March 1986)

Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival (October 1986)

Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA (November 1986)

The Venice Carnivale (February 1987)

Festival des Ameriques, Montreal, Canada (June 1987)

Marvin Center Theatre, Washington DC (March 1988)

Wadsworth Theatre at UCLA (October 1988)

BITEF Festival Belgrade, Yugoslavia (September 1989)

Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia (September 1989)

Croatian National Theatre, Zagreb, Yugoslavia (November 1989)

Srpsko Narodno Pozoriste, Novi Sad, Yugoslavia (October 1989)

Partners

The Museum of Contemporary Art at the MoMing Dance and Art Center, Chicago, IL

Funders

The Inter-Arts Program of the National Endowments for the Arts