Review: The Hours Turn to Nothing

A true story of finding hope in despair.

click to enlarge SYDNEY MACLENNAN
Sydney MacLennan

Xara Choral Theatre is known for combining choral music, choreography, and storytelling for an eclectic style of performance. With The Hours Turn To Nothing, the massively talented group of young women have joined forces with novelist Ami McKay to tell the story of midwives who came to Halifax to care for many women who went into labour following the Halifax explosion. The effect of the minimal choreography, music, and bits of text woven together is that the harrowing story bubbles to the surface with a serene delicacy that is not the norm for tales of disaster and survival. Some notable moments include "Psalm 69", a gorgeous original composition written for the performance by local composer Jenny Trites, and "Even When He Is Silent", a tear-jerker about finding hope in despair by Norwegian composer Kim André Arnesen. With the combination of beautiful voices in intricate harmony, a powerful local story, and the stunning space of St. Matthew’s Church, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.

The Hours Turn to Nothing
Written by Ami McKay
Conducted by Christina Murray
Choreographed by Claire Leger
Ran April 28-29

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