CriticalDance Forum

Music for dance
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Author:  Azlan [ Sat Feb 17, 2001 9:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Music for dance

Hmm, do you think this writer was inspired by this discussion:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>Not All Music Is Fit for Dance</B><P>Allan Ulrich, SF Chronicle<P>"Sure, there's lots of music I like, but I wouldn't dream of making up a dance to it." <P>Would that all who toiled somewhere in an overheated studio were possessed of such wisdom. If every choreographer thought like Mark Morris, who offered this observation a few months ago, the ballet stage might be a more satisfying place. Start with an inappropriate score, one never meant for dancing or one alien to the choreographer's temperament, and the work is almost certainly doomed to failure. Let the message go out to all dancemakers -- building a dance around your record collection is not necessarily the place to start.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>More</B></A>

Author:  Marie [ Sat Feb 17, 2001 5:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music for dance

LOL, that reminds me of a choreography class I was in. Two of the participants decided to create a short piece using the theme song from the television show "Friends." Really, I'm not kidding. It was great fun because the instructor had just spent the last decade or so in Denmark and didn't know the song at all and was really confused. She just asked questions like, "What is this song saying? <I>'I'll be there for you 'cause you're there for me too'</I>??? <B>Why</B> would you choose this song?" She then went on to discuss why pop music rarely works when applied to contemporary dance...

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Tue Feb 20, 2001 4:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Music for dance

A few months ago, I saw a very good Christopher Bruce work 'Moonshine' to Bob Dylan songs. He also has made 'Rooster' to a series of early Stones numbers. It is hugely popular and for me is at least good in parts. His remarkable 'Ghost Dances' is to popular music from South America and 'Sergeant Early's Dream' to Irish and other folk songs is also successful. Another choreographer from the RB, William Tuckett has made one of his most successful short pieces to popular Louis Armstrong songs. Does Twlya Tharp's 'Deuce Coupe' to the Beach Boys work?<P>Given the great movie dance numbers to average songs I'm not sure that the use of such music should be avoided. Some great ballets are choreographed to second or third rate music.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Apr 30, 2001 4:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Music for dance

<B>JOINING THREADS</B><P>MONICA McCABE tells the story of the collaboration between David Bintley of Birmingham Royal Ballet and the composer John McCabe. <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>The creative partnership between the choreographer David Bintley and my husband, the composer John McCabe began on a sunny spring day in early May in the garden of our then house in West London -- and neither of them knew about it.<P>I had been urging John for some time that he should be writing for ballet. Only the opportunity was missing -- though he had in 1975 written the music for a full-length ballet about Mary, Queen of Scots, for Scottish Ballet, and two years earlier a chamber ballet for the Northern Dance Theatre.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P><BR><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>More...</B></A>

Author:  trina [ Mon May 07, 2001 12:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music for dance

I'm coming late into this topic. So forgive me if I'm being redundant here. Do folks know about the Merce Cunningham/John Cage philosophy of music/dance collaboratio? It's cool stuff, becasue it was so influential at the time, and indeed continues to be to this day. Cage/Cunningham believed that music and dance need not have any inherent relationship. They merely "co-exist" in time and space. If they happen to correspond in rhythm or mood, this is mere coincidence. IN other words, they (along with costume designers and set designers) would often not mix the dance and music together, sometimes until dress rehearsal or even performance. Dancers would rehearse in silence, or maybe with metronome. This keeps (the philosophy was) the various art forms independent, equal, and co-existent. This obvioulsy is a fairly avant-garde concept, especially to those of us raised on a strict diet of Tchaikovsky and piano lessons! Anyone who wants to learn more about this should read "Silence" by John Cage or "Merce Cunningham" by James Klosty. Anyone who's seen Merce Cunningham may have noticed the quirkiness of movement in relation to the music. The dancers, I would imagine, are not counting the music, but keeping their own "inner rhythm" which is based on the phrasing of the movement itself, NOT on the music.<p>[This message has been edited by trina (edited May 07, 2001).]

Author:  Azlan [ Mon Jun 18, 2001 3:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music for dance

An interesting comment by Edmund White in the New York Times:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Unlike fiction, music is not about mothers-in-law or failed marriages. Of course opera and ballet and program music can be narrative but only because they are adulterated by literature, the libretto or the scenario.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>More</B></A>

Author:  Azlan [ Fri Jun 22, 2001 7:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Music for dance

I went to a performance last night in the which the music was too loud and too intense for the choreography. I've noticed that this tends to happen a lot more than I like in semi-professional dance.<P>Does this occur when the choreographer starts out with an idea for an intense dance but doesn't accomodate for the inability of his/her dancers to match that intensity, thus leaving a disparity between music and choreography?

Author:  Basheva [ Sat Jun 23, 2001 5:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Music for dance

Azlan, I find the loudness to be a problem most places that I go these days, especially when it is miked.<P>Even in ballet class where there is no pianist the music is much too loud for a studio setting. <P>As for the intensity overwhelming the choreography - I found that to be a real problem in the Eifman Ballet's "Russian Hamlet". I mentioned it in my review of that performance in Dance Europe Magazine (May 2001 edition). In this case Beethoven and Mahler were used - and the music, in my opinion, simply overwhelms both choreographer and dancers, even as talented as both were in this case.<P>In my opinion, the music needs to be memorable - but not overwhelming. An example of using music that was inadequate, again in my opinion, was some of the work of Michael Smuin. For me, that is what inhibited his ballets. <P>The music of Giselle is often said to be trite. However, it does work - it is memorable - one can hear the "tune" in one's head. It is danceable.

Author:  Azlan [ Sun Jul 08, 2001 11:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Music for dance

The title says it all...<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>Philip Glass: His Success, Like His Music, Keeps Repeating</B><P>ALLAN KOZINN, New York Times<P>All this follows by only a few weeks the American premiere of Mr. Glass's opera "The Marriages Between Zones 3, 4 and 5" (1997) in Chicago. The Philip Glass Ensemble, meanwhile, is just back from a tour that included American and European performances of "The Screens," Mr. Glass's 1989 collaboration with Foday Musa Suso, the Gambian kora player, and live readings of the scores for "Koyaanisqatsi" and "Powaqqatsi" to accompany showings of those films in Singapore. And for good measure, there have also been recent performances of Mr. Glass's "Concerto Fantasy" for two timpanists and orchestra on the West Coast and in Mexico, of his Concerto for Saxophone Quartet in Portugal, Spain and Germany, and of ballets using his music in England, Germany and France.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>More</B></A>

Author:  Azlan [ Thu Jul 12, 2001 3:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music for dance

There are a couple of posts in the <a href=../../../ubb/Forum5/HTML/000273.html target=_blank><B>Lucinda Childs thread</B></a> about Philip Glass.

Author:  angela [ Wed Jul 18, 2001 5:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Music for dance

Did anyone check out the new issue of Dance mag(MUSIC ISSUE). Theres a new lady conductor named ANREA QUINN for NYCB! <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A>

Author:  Azlan [ Thu Jul 26, 2001 10:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Music for dance

Danny Elfman claims he wants to compose a ballet, among other things, in this article about the prolific soundtrack composer's latest project, <I>The Planet of the Apes</I>:<P><A HREF="" TARGET=_blank><B>'Apes' Heaps Stress on Composer Elfman</B></A><BR>ANTHONY BREZNICAN, AP Entertainment

Author:  trina [ Fri Jul 27, 2001 4:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music for dance

Basheva; funny- I have that "loudness" problem with my accompanist, too. He pounds the heck out of the poor piano. I can't figure out why he does this....he only does it intermittently...strange!<BR>Loudness is an increasing problem in our culture in general, I feel. People have become so inundated with noise, background music ("muzak'), environmental noise, that when there is silence, it's absolutely startling. The only time I experience this real "silence", living in a city as I do, is in yoga class. It's so soothing. And relaxing. <BR>I wonder why choreographers crank up the volume. Do they not trust their own work to move you; you have to be saturated with decibels, or what?

Author:  Basheva [ Fri Jul 27, 2001 4:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music for dance

Trina - good questions....I have personally asked a couple of choreographers just that question and the answer in each case was that they were already a bit deaf from years of too much volume!!<P>For a ballet teacher versus a pounding piano its a double problem - not only the injurious decibel level, but we have to talk over the piano to our students. I always refused to spend 90 minutes screaming to be heard. Get the pianist to take his/her foot off that pedal.<P>

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Jul 27, 2001 8:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Music for dance

Azlan, it may just be temporary but the Yahoo doc isn't there atthe moment.<P>I think the music of philip Glass works very well for danc and I have seen several very successfuk works choreographed to his scores. I don't choose to listen to this style of music at home and i suspect that it won't be around in 50 years (my track record of predicting the future is unerringly wrong by the way). However, I suspect that some of the dance pieces to minimalist music will survive.

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