Chaplet of Roses (2014), a dance work for video, and live performance, is derived from a 15th century fragmentary Netherlandish tapestry, Honor Making a Chaplet of Roses, held in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The tapestry features an allegory of courtly love, depicted through the simultaneous action of four characters: one making a crown of roses with the caption ”I am Honor who makes chaplets for my children”, a second says, “To please my friend better, I shall put on this pretty hat,” an inscription above the third identifies him as “Pleasure,” and the fourth has the caption, “Homage to my good lady, my protectress.”
Created with Angie Smalis in Limerick, Ireland, the project seeks to explore a contemporary interpretation of a courtly love allegory as a notion of individual and community morality, by framing shifts between public and private life. Our interest centers on how “Honor” is linked to community and moral accountability through the consideration of multiple perspectives ⎯ multiple perspectives for the viewer, and the multiple personal perspectives of the figures depicted simultaneously in the tapestry.
Each two-minute video (at right) depicts a figure seen in the tapestry. The final video is documentation of the live performance. Chaplet of Roses premiered at Dance Limerick, December 18, 2014.