Grete Gryzwana | Choregrapher
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The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian

Tales of Love and Passion


January 18, 2015

The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, Tales of Love and Passion conceived, directed and choreographed by Grete Gryzwana, is a classically beautiful, dramatic, contemporary dance theater work commissioned for the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles, set amid the sculptures, wallworks and mixed media installations of the exhibition– Simon Toparovsky: Vessels and Channels, 9 November 2014 – 15 February 2015.


An evening of powerfully symbolic art, dramatic dance and luscious, inspiring music The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, Tales of Love and Passion is being created with a corps of California’s most gifted professional dance artists, with the rare instrumental and choral music of Debussy performed by a gathering of Los Angeles’s finest musicians and singers. In the way of a medieval mystery play, the audience processes with the performers throughout the Cathedral, while together the captivating art of Vessels and Channels, dancers and musicians create living stained glass windows into the life of Saint Sebastian.


The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, Tales of Love and Passion culminates at the Cathedral’s main altar, at the feet of the bronze crucifix (Red Jesus, created by Mr. Toparovsky) and under the watchful eyes of the saints and martyrs of the Cathedral’s magnificent tapestries (by John Nava), artworks commissioned for the consecration of the Cathedral in 2002.


Dramatic, contemplative and celebratory, The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, Tales of Love and Passion offers a glimpse into the glowing, gallant and beautiful, and evokes connections to the universal themes of longing, mercy, transformation and possibility for transcendence. The passionate choreography of Grete Gryzwana, the exquisite works of Simon Toparovsky, and the rapturous music of Debussy unite in the magnificent Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Sunday, 18 January 2015. 7:30 PM.


An archer in the Roman army during the 3rd century, Saint Sebastian was martyred for standing up to political tyranny and the persecution of Christians. Known for his classical beauty and physical strength, Sebastian refused to turn away from his faith in exchange for the glories of Rome. The patron Saint of Milan, and of archers and athletes, Saint Sebastian’s beauty has been immortalized by artists for centuries.