BY ISN STAFFJanuary 8, 2016

SANTA CLARA, CA— On January 15, Santa Clara University, in collaboration with Montalvo Arts Center, will present XLIII: A Contemporary Requiem to honor victims of violence worldwide.

The world premiere will be held at the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís at Santa Clara. The thematic focus of XLIII responds to the university’s commitment to social justice and civic responsibility. The performance is supported by the newly established Center for the Arts and Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences, and its inaugural Salon theme, (in)humanity, which examines how the humanities and arts may work as agents of change in a world besieged by violence and misunderstanding.

“More than any other creative production, XLIII has become a passion,” said Stephen Lee, the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Santa Clara University. “The plight of the missing students and their families has inspired an extraordinary opportunity for our students and our community to come together in the name of justice.”

“XLIII” refers to 43 male students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Mexico who were kidnapped in 2014 after traveling to the city of Iguala to stage a protest against perceived government corruption. The students are believed to have been murdered by members of a drug cartel. The number 43 has subsequently become a symbol of protest against violence and corruption in Mexico and throughout the world. While the performance takes inspiration from this tragic event, it is intended not only to honor the memory of those 43 students, but victims of violence worldwide.

XLIII was created by created by Mexico City-based composer Andres Solis and choreographer Sandra Milena Gómez.

XLIII was created by Mexico City-based composer Andres Solis and choreographer Sandra Milena Gómez.

XLIII is an inventive exploration of the requiem format, mixing traditional elements of organ and voice with electronics and creative movement. The co-commissioned piece features the original musical composition of Andrés Solis and choreography by Sandra Gómez, two Mexico City-based artists who are Lucas Artists Fellows at Montalvo. Dr. Scot Hanna-Weir, director of choral activities at Santa Clara University, will be conducting the SCU Chamber Singers along with Dr. James Welch, organist. Several dancers, including SCU alumna Lauren Baines, will also be a part of the production.

“For Montalvo Arts Center, this program is part of a broader effort to expand our creative collaborations with like-minded organizations in the Bay Area, and deepen local community engagement by Artist Fellows at our Lucas Artists Residency Program,” said Montalvo Executive Director Angela McConnell. “Its timely and moving subject matter reaffirms our belief that the arts should be at the center of innovative thinking about pressing local and global concerns.”

Last week, Santa Clara University opened an Ignatian lawn art installation of silhouettes symbolizing each of the missing 43 students. The exhibit includes an additional mirrored silhouette that compels viewers to “see themselves in the 43.” The installation will be on campus for public viewing through January 15.

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