the CHRYSALIS project

The CHRYSALIS project is a film series by Hannah von Wiehler in collaboration with Oxford Alternative Orchestra and the Center for Ballet and the Arts at New York University.

CHRYSALIS is a series of six videos exploring the idea that a particular kind of metamorphosis, transformation, and hope is only possible in a place of darkness. Each piece is a fusion of the media of dance, film, and classical music, featuring a piece of new choreography set to new compositions recorded by the Oxford Alternative Orchestra (OAO).

The project features the musicians of OAO in the UK, and six award-winning choreographers in different locations around the world: Burkina Faso, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia, and New Zealand. Each choreographer explores unique interpretations of hope that have been illuminated, and even enhanced, by the darkness of the global pandemic we are all still experiencing.

CHRYSALIS also features five new compositions from award-winning composers, commissioned for this project, as well a new arrangement of Vivaldi’s ‘Winter’.

The films will be edited together with footage of the orchestra to create a cohesive piece of visual art designed for the screen which offers an insight into how orchestral and dance performance can be adapted in a time of social distancing.

The CHRYSALIS project was featured in the Guardian in April 2021 as ‘one of the best dance films to watch online’

CHRYSALIS: UK stars Brandon Lawrence, Principal Dancer of Birmingham Royal Ballet and young star in the making Jakob Bryan. It is directed and choreographed by the acclaimed Ruth Brill. Carol J Jones’ unique compositions use scientific methods to deconstruct the sounds of nature to create complex, layered compositions; in this case, she has taken inspiration from the interior of the chrysalis itself.
CHOREOGRAPHER: Aguibou Bougobali Sanou

COMPOSER: Antonio Vivaldi / Aguibou Bougobali Sanou

MUSICIANS: Violetta Suvini (Solo violini); Hannah Leighton-Jones, Jenny Wang, Marcus Spiegel, Elizabeth Nurse (violins); Adi Jacobson, Alex Gunasekera, Will Emery (viola); Sebastian Riedl, Lizi Vineall, Giulia Da Cruz Sher (cello); Sam Hopkins (bass)

CHOREOGRAPHER: Sarah Foster-Sproull

COMPOSER: Aiyana Braun

CHOREOGRAPHER: Stefanie Batten Bland

COMPOSER: Erika Vega


COMPOSER: Kristina Arakelyan