Know Before You Go: A Brief Audio-Visual Look into the World of Refuse the Hour

By Taylor Steinbeck

William Kentridge's multimedia chamber opera, Refuse the Hour is a rush for the eyes and ears. The sounds of African drum beats, vocalists, and giant metronomes play in tandem with dancers, animation, and video, as the man himself muses on theories of time, relativity, and myth through a spoken-word performance. New York Times writer Vivien Schweitzer describes the show as "fascinating and overwhelming." Before experiencing it all for yourself at The Geary Theater this weekend, learn more about the fascinating world of Refuse the Hour below.

This 2016 Bloomberg interview with Kentridge offers insight into the artist's process, biography, and ouevre.

In this bite-size lecture, Peter Galison—Refuse the Hour's dramaturg and renowned Harvard physics professor–discusses Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, which was one of Kentridge's key inspirations.

Featuring a score by Philip Miller, Refuse the Hour is the companion piece to Kentridge's 2012 five-channel video installation, The Refusal of Time, to which Miller also composed the music. Get a feel for Refuse the Hour's sound by listening to the soundtrack for The Refusal of Time.

Less than a mile away from The Geary is another work of art by Kentridge. On the sixth floor of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art lives Preparing the Flute (2005), a model theater that uses video projection to make the miniature set come alive. We recommend a visit to this small stage before watching The Geary travel through time in Refuse the Hour.

Refuse the Hour runs November 10–11 for three shows only at The Geary Theater. Click here to purchase tickets through our website.

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