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Chromatic Suite:  Prelude

Dan Rubin, Photography

David Witten, Piano

Tina Seligman, Story, Masks, Videography, Editing, Performance

Alicia Mugetti, Clothing Design

Notes and Synopsis by Tina Seligman

Inspired by Dan Rubin's infrared and other photographs combined with David Witten's piano recordings of compositions by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, this story developed from my desire to dance inside the images.

I created character masks and wore clothing designed by Alicia Mugetti.

"Chromatic Suite: Prelude" refers to shifts of color groupings in the way musical keys modulate within a composition. The characters and story were also informed by sound including a magenta headdress inspired by the shape of the inner and middle ear and a creature sprouting sensitive tuning forks and waveforms.

This is the first of a future series of videos to create a "suite" which will each focus on a specific hue and style of music and dance. Produced during the pandemic, it was also a form of escape into another world. I invite you to travel through and dance with me...


Wandering through greenery, Tinabeth plays her flute to communicate with the hidden birds filling the atmosphere with textures of song.

Suddenly, a mysterious gong chimes and appears over a bridge inviting her through a portal to another world of brilliant colors and unexpected life forms. Her headdress, the shape of the inner and middle ear reflects her passion for music and natural sounds.

Exploring, she is noticed by Woodland, a shy creature who is part humanoid and part tree. Enchanted by her vibrance, curiosity and wonder, he dances and she is mesmerized by his grace and gentleness. Through the gong, which contains his voice, spirit and heart, Woodland sends a music box playing “To a Wild Rose” as he bursts through a magical blue rose and invites her to dance.

Nearby, Waveform, a creature of vibration, has been watching. While he enjoys tranquil natural sounds including bird song, his sensitive tuning forks are tormented by the loud gong sounds. Each time it clangs, he becomes more and more agitated and waits for his moment to snatch the gong and remove the bell to stop the noise.

While in the cemetery, Waveform snatches the gong and triumphantly removes the bell. Because the bell is Woodland’s heartbeat, removing it from the gong causes him to vanish, leaving only his blue rose as a memory in the cemetery.

Tinabeth, who has been falling in love with Woodland is filled with grief and meanders through ever changing landscapes.

She encounters a Sea Sprite who has been watching throughout from a distance. The Sea Sprite explains through movement that to bring him back she must reunite the bell with the gong frame. With this quest, Tinabeth has renewed hope and searches for the elusive bell, which seems to evaporate before she can catch it. She is unaware that Waveform has been watching too and using his vibration to prevent the bell from returning.

Tinabeth again encounters the bridge. When the bell rises over, she jumps to grab it, but Waveform is waiting, trying to block it. At the moment the bell returns to the gong frame, Waveform’s vibrations are shattered into the mist and Tinabeth crosses over transported back to her own world. Returned to where she used to be happy, Tinabeth feels lost forever.

Draped over an erratic rock perhaps Tinabeth has dreamt the whole experience. She is unaware that the gong had followed her into her world to bring Woodland back to her. As it sounds, he appears, reviving the inner vibrance that she discovered through him.

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