Chorus: Rumination on the Nobility of Faces and Images

Lau, Yam (Toronto: YYZ Books, 2013)

What is difficult to manage is the expression of his face
- Confucius

Jean-François Côté’s The Chorus stages the performance of a celebrated Chinese song. In an inner courtyard of a Taoist temple in Beijing, an amateur choir of retirees is juxtaposed with an individual child performer. The performers sing the celebrated Chinese song “Snow,” transcribed from the renowned poem of the same title, written in the nineteen thirties by the young revolutionary Mao Zedong. The older performers would know this song by heart from growing up in Mao’s era, while the young child, separated from it by generations, would be learning the song as she performs it.

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