Cannon In 3D Major (1999)

Conceived and directed by Sonoko Kawahara

Dance Theater Workshop / HERE Arts Center

In one fascinating sequence in Sonoko Kawahara’s Canon in 3D Major, three women lined up in chairs make hand motions – sewing, lifting, rubbing- so slowly and continuously that, like the miniature hand on a clock, you have to study them to be sure they’re in motion. It is a Chekhovian moment in the reconstruction of ‘The Three Sisters’….
Playing on Pachelbel’s composition, ‘Canon’ is symmetrical and spare. The performers recite snatches of dialogue evoking languor and longing for home while arranging and re-arranging themselves in tiny but telling interactions. All three lift the cups, but one drops her spoon; their reactions suggest intimacy, competition, affection. As silence alternates with music and clocks chime, the year pass excruciatingly. So overpowering is the sameness that any alternation – a red umbrella – explodes with drama. The work is distant and cerebral yet satisfying. -The Village Voice, Francine Russon

About the production

An Intimate exploration of time and home inspired by Chekhov’s Three Sisters and the music of Pachelbel’s Canon in D major, featuring three performers, three chairs, and three sets of teacups.


Photography by Mariaa Baranova

Production Credits

Conceived and choreogprahed by Sonoko Kawahara
With Rebecca Herman, Catherine Scarboro, Rachel Warren
Eriko Fukuoka (HERE Art Center)
Jay Ryan (Dance Theater Workshop)

August 1998 & January 1999