A riveting dark-hued work that casts a swarming, scurrying group of dancers, insect-like, in an eerily subterranean universe, Emergence dramatizes through its mesmerizing choreographic attack the ways in which the instinct for creating social forms seems hard-wired into life itself. Pite’s inspiration for the work came from reading Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and Software by American popular science theorist Steven Johnson and considering parallels between the social organization of bees and the hierarchical nature of classical ballet companies.
Pite’s vision for Emergence was brought to light through a collaboration with composer Owen Belton. Belton uses both acoustic and electronic instruments, often in combination with computer processing techniques such as granular synthesis, to arrive at atmospheric palettes of sound and tone. Pite and Belton have incorporated drone-like sounds of bees along with sounds of marching to signify the power and ominous presence of the body politic.
Emergence has won four Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Production, Outstanding New Choreography, Outstanding Performance and Outstanding Sound Design/Composition by Owen Belton.