Photo Credit: Dahlia Katz

An evocative, theatrical, and genre-bending collaboration with choreographer/dancer Roderick George, Difficult Grace is a multimedia concert tour de force conceived by and featuring Woods in the triple role of cellist, narrator/guide, and movement artist, performing music written for and with Seth by Freida Abtan, Monty Adkins, Fredrick Gifford, Ted Hearne, Devonté Hynes a.k.a Blood Orange, Nathalie Joachim and Pierre Alexandre Tremblay.

Heightened by film, spoken text, dance and visual artwork by Jacob Lawrence, Barbara Earl Thomas, Zoë McLean, and Freida Abtan, Difficult Grace is a semi-autobiographical exploration of identity, past/present histories and personal growth that draws inspiration from the Great Migration, the historic newspaper The Chicago Defender, immigration, and the poetry of Kemi Alabi and Dudley Randall.

Commissioned for Seth Parker Woods by the 92nd Street Y with the generous support of Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting. Co-commissioned by the Harris Theater, UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance, and The Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth.

The world premiere of Difficult Grace was presented by the Seattle Symphony at Octave 9: Raisbeck Music Center at Benaroya Hall in February 2020.

“Seth Parker Woods’s audiovisually mouthwatering performance” 

“married the cellist’s most introspective playing with an affecting visual narrative…”