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Ensemble Palimpsest weaves together movement, music, theater and media to create distinctive chamber performances. Like an ancient palimpsest, layers of meaning and modes of expressions emerge and flow across boundaries, capturing traces of the past in a contemporary framework. The concrete becomes abstract and the abstract tangible, evoking new perspectives. The Ensemble joins four artists, from four countries, bridging four disciplines. The result: the staid musical recital is enlivened; the dance concert is reinterpreted; and the roles of the performers, director and filmmaker are upended in this unexpected collaboration. The audience is invited to actively engage in the rich polyphony of musical, kinetic, dramatic and visual threads.


 The word palimpsest refers to a parchment or similar document from which the writing has been partially or completely erased to make room for a new text. During the Middle Ages, scribes, sometimes lacking sufficient sheepskin for parchment, scraped away the words and illustrations on older manuscripts, replacing them with their own religious or secular texts. Fortunately for us, the past has proved more tenacious as new technology reveals increasingly detailed views of the “lost” writing. A stunning example is the Archimedes palimpsest. Many of the treatises of the Greek scientist and mathematician were thought lost to history, only to be discovered in the pages of a 13th century prayer book, written on recycled parchment from a much earlier era.