In Defense of Gravity (2018)


November 29 – December 2, 2018

The George R. White Studio, Pittsburgh Opera
2425 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222



Peter Kope and Michele de la Reza


Michele de la Reza
Sonja Gable
Miranda Nichols
Simon Phillips
Dane Toney
Sarah Zielinski


Anqwenique, Vocals
Jeff Berman, Percussion
Ben Brosche, Piano
Ben Opie, Saxophone

Original Music Composition

Ben Opie

Original Music

What do you want?
Dream Keeper
Buoyant Funk

A memory, revisited.

Weaving together dance and live music, In Defense of Gravity grapples with the persistence of memory and tragedies that cannot be unseen. Gritty and poignant, the poetry of Jimmy Cvetic guides this journey into and out of darkness, reminding us how difficult it is to forget and the reason to remember.

Musical collaborators, Ben Opie and Anqwenique will perform both original music and reimagined jazz classics, along with pianist, Ben Brosche and percussionist, Jeff Berman.

"As for the broken pieces that you have gathered, keep them, they belong to you." — Jimmy Cvetic

In Defense of Gravity follows a quest to reconcile sorrow and loss, embodied in Jimmy Cvetic's poem "Little Feet." This elegy reveals an unspeakable tragedy that reverberates through both personal and collective memories. Rather than seal them away and move beyond, we begin to embrace the broken pieces — to own them and accept them.

Simple and profund, funny yet poignant, the aphorisms that Jimmy Cvetic shares in his book The Zen of Elves offer many pathways to empathy — to "hope and the determination to go on in the face of heartbreak" (Pittsburgh City Paper).