A PANTOMIME-BALLET REACTING TO U.S. IMMIGRATION POLICY, THEN AND NOW
Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 7:30pm
Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall
In collaboration with the London-based ensemble Penguin Cafe, Princeton University has reimagined Within the Quota, a pantomime-ballet from 1923 with a score by Cole Porter.
The work originally responded to restrictive immigration quotas based on national origin that were enacted in 1921. The ballet has been newly allegorized as an act of resistance to nativist calls within the Trump administration.
Students of the Princeton University Ballet will mount the production, and Porter's music will be performed live in a new arrangement prepared by Princeton Professor Simon Morrison and the Penguin Cafe, whose ten members are traveling from London to Princeton for the show. Backdrops, based on the famous original design featuring newspaper headlines, have been created by students at the Stuart Country Day School.
The performance will begin with selections from Penguin Cafe's newest album, "The Imperfect Sea."
ABOUT WITHIN THE QUOTA:
When he composed the score for Within the Quota, the American composer Cole Porter, now revered as a Broadway genius, was still an ambitious young songsmith. He was deeply troubled by the Emergency Quota Act of 1921, which slashed immigration into the United States and established strict quotas based on the 1910 census to ensure an unchanging ethnic and religious population. Porter mounted a response in the form of an acerbic, pantomime-ballet that tested the truth of America as a nation of immigrants.