extreme lyric I

Co-produced by ODC Theater

“The choreography demands attention as dancers create stances of ecstasy, desire, gratitude and exaltation…As always in Mohr’s pieces, there is at times a sense of improvisation, fluidity, and ephemerality….The entire performance peaks in a sublime surreality.”

—- Dasha Bulatova, "Sappho’s body is breaking in “extreme lyric I”," repeat performances, October 4th, 2018

inspired by and featuring
Ann Carson's translations of the Greek poet Sappho

Fragment 16
Some men say an army of horse and some men say an army on foot
and some men say an army of ships is the most beautiful thing
on the black earth. But I say it is
what you love.           

Many credit the Greek poet Sappho with inventing the “lyric I,” a point of view anchored in the first person singular. 

This intimate work, a conversation between contemporary gender identities and an ancient approach to ecstasy, will be performed for small audiences in the round.  Featuring projection design by Ian Winters, sound design by Theodore Hulsker and lighting and set design by Tony Shayne. Original performance text in collaboration with Maxe Crandall. Performers: Maxe Crandall, Tara McArthur, Hope Mohr, Suzette Sagisi, Jane Selna and Karla Quintero.

"Choreographer Hope Mohr, who brings a cerebral slant to dance’s visceral vocabulary, is interweaving Sappho’s words into “extreme lyric I,” an up-close modern dance performed in the round at ODC."   --S.F. Chronicle's Fall Arts Preview

extreme lyric I was made possible through support from individual donors, the Zellerbach Family Foundation, and Lighting Artists in Dance, a program of Dancers' Group. HMD will develop the work in part during a creative residency at Petronio Residency Center, a program of the Stephen Petronio Company. HMD's 2018 programming is supported by the California Arts Council, Center for Cultural Innovation, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, San Francisco Arts Commission, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, the Joe Goode Annex and ODC Theater.


"This sophisticated installation and contemporary aesthetic was museum quality, all elements smartly placed; a seductive mystery that instantly beckoned viewers into the unknown…"
-- David E. Moreno, "extreme lyric I," Culture Vulture, October 10th, 2018

"ONSTAGE News: Nasty Women, works inspired by radical, revered writings from female authors"
--  Dance Magazine, October, 2018

"The performance text, co-written by Mohr and writer Maxe Crandall, intersperses Sapphic fragments with contemporary, casual speech to ask questions while swinging between ancient and modern modes. The performers experiment with postures of individual and collective power and appear to lurch in and out of control of their bodies. At times, the mood is hallucinatory and incantatory, building mystery and momentum."
-- Dasha Bulatova, "Sappho’s body is breaking in “extreme lyric I”," repeat performances, October 4th, 2018

Open Air Interview with Hope Mohr on extreme lyric I.
-- David Latulippe, “Open Air,” October 3rd, 2018

Interview with Hope Mohr and ODC Writer in Residence, Marie Tollon.
-- Marie Tollon, “Investigating the Lyric I: An Interview with Hope Mohr” ODC.dance.stories, September 28th, 2018


extreme lyric I trailer

Photo of HMD dancers Jane Selna and Karla Quintero by Margo Moritz. Concept/design Aza Raskin.