HP:Revisited (2018)

Dan Allende has partnered with the workers of a large produce processing factory to produce a ballet production on site based on Carlos/Catherine Chavez production H.P. from the 1930s. The group, newly founded Eastern Propak Ballet Workshop, has been drafting a production HP (Human Power) that will revisit, update and revise the original ballet to reflect the current conditions and experience of the factory workers, as well as their relationship to global context of the fruit that arrives daily. The final product will be presented in Eastern Propak, using the forklifts and equipment of their daily work as the setting for a series of live performances.

About the original production
Premiered March 31, 1932, Metropolitan Opera House, Philadelphia. Music by Carlos Chavez. Costumes and scenery by Diego Rivera.

This ballet-symphony, composed by Mexican Carlos Chavez, was the first piece of choreography attributed solely to Catherine (though she already had been choreographing for about five years). Under the direction of Leopold Stokowski, the 28-minute work in four scenes featured flamboyant designs by Diego Rivera, arguably the most famous artist in the world at the time. It contrasted the industrial North (meaning the U.S.) with the tropical South (meaning Mexico), demonstrating how the two cultures were mutually dependent: in other words, how the South supplied raw materials (fruits, minerals) that the North would manufacture into useful goods for the benefit of all. H.P. was performed just once (under the auspices of the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company) and received inconsistent reviews. It did, however, attract a star-studded audience and featured Alexis Dolinoff, later a mainstay of the Philadelphia Ballet, in the title role.

About the Eastern Propak Ballet Workshop

The management of Eastern Propak has carved out time for the workshop to meet weekly to develop HP:Revisited. The group was established to create the ballet and consists of 20 field workers and line workers who will co author the ballet. The group brings diverse influence through their own experiences a migrants from Mexico, Guatemala and Taiwan.