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Dances Set to Steve Reich's Drumming


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#1 miliosr

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 09:45 AM

So, I've been listening to a 1970s recording of the Steve Reich composition Drumming. I understand that Laura Dean (in the 70s) and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker (in the 00s) have made dances to this work. Has anyone seen the dances? And, if so, what did you think??

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 10:19 AM

Laura Dean did several dances to Reich. I saw them, but it was a long time ago -- She was fascinated by the whirling dervishes, so they were based on spinning, with subtle changes to match the equally subtle changes of tempo or rhythm in the score. I liked them, especially one she made for....ice dancers! John Curry had a very short-lived company, and she did one for them that I loved -- but I can't think of the name at the moment. Sorry, these are off the cuff notes from memory.

#3 Helene

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 10:25 AM

I remember "Burn", Laura Dean's piece for the John Curry Company, but I couldn't remember the music. According to Jennifer Dunning's review of the run at the Metropolitan Opera,

Set to modular music with a Latin beat by Jean- Michel Jarre, Miss Dean's ''Burn'' is a witty, canny bit of geometrics for Mr. Curry and a corps that braids and straightens with amiable sensuality.


http://www.nytimes.c...at-the-met.html

I misremembered that Dorothy Hamill skated in it, but according the review, she skated solos to pieces by Chopin and Puccini. I thought they gave her a modern piece that really stretched her, but that was only in my imagination.

Jean Pierre Bonnefoux's "Meditation" got a great review from Ms. Dunning, as did Twyla Tharp's "After All"; Lar Lubovitch's piece, not so much. As far as skating choreographers go, the review notes that Lori Nichol and Lee Ann Miller were in the performances.

#4 Alexandra

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 11:06 AM

Oh, well :) I don't remember it being funny OR Latin (but I was just about to come back and say, "I think it was calldd 'Burn'" when I saw Helene's post.

Back to Steve Reich, here's a link to a brief biography of Reich that mentions his collaborations with dancemakers. Maybe this will job some better memories.

http://www.newmusicb.../reich/bio.html

#5 leonid17

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 11:07 AM

So, I've been listening to a 1970s recording of the Steve Reich composition Drumming. I understand that Laura Dean (in the 70s) and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker (in the 00s) have made dances to this work. Has anyone seen the dances? And, if so, what did you think??


Last year there were performances of “Steve Reich Evening (Ballet)” at both the Edinburgh Festival and Sadlers Wells with the Ictus Ensemble, Steve Reich, Rosas and Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker
The works performed were: Drumming-Part One, Eight Lines, Piano Phase, Four Organs, Violin Phase, Music for Pieces of Wood, Pendulum Music

Choreographed by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker

I did not see the performances but you can get an idea from:

#6 papeetepatrick

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 01:37 PM

I saw Robert Stryker (sp?) do a wondeerful solo or two to some Steve Reich in a Village performance space. It may have been two Reich pieces, I know that I was listening to him at that time. One was a repeated spoken piece 'She Was a Visitor', and that only over and over. It was hypnotic at the moment, and everything worked about the evening--one of those magical things that can't be predicted and the dont recur--but I lost interest in his music after that.

#7 LiLing

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 04:51 PM

Reich's music was very popular with modern dance choreographers in the seventies. You could hardly go to a dance concert without at least one piece to either Reich or Glass. The work I remember most vividly was Elisa Monte's Treading. It was a mesmerizing and sensual duet as performed by Monte and David Brown, a bit more athletic when transferred to the Ailey co. I thought it was a wonderful use of the music. Sorry I can't remember which piece she used, but I know it wasn't Drumming.

#8 Kathleen O'Connell

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 05:24 PM

Jiří Kylián's ballet "Falling Angels" is set to the first part of Reich's "Drumming." There's a short clip on YouTube. "Falling Angels" is also one of the ballets on the "Jiri Kylian's Black & White Ballets" DVD, although I believe it's now out of print.

#9 miliosr

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 05:36 AM

Thanks to all who replied.

I would like to see the Laura Dean dance set to Drumming (in its entirety!) but, like so much of Dean's work, I wonder if it is even revivable at this point. Now that Dean herself is a semi-recluse and there's no company devoted to preserving her work, her dances would appear to be as endangered as any species in the animal kingdom. Interesting how stuff that was all the rage at one point can disappear so quickly . . .

#10 ltraiger

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 11:39 AM

Not ideal but a section of a Laura Dean work set on a college dance group:

http://dancemedia.com/v/2602

#11 glebb

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 06:07 PM

A snippet from a New York Times review:

BALLET: 'FORCE FIELD, BY LAURA DEAN, IN PREMIERE BY THE JOFFREY

By ANNA KISSELGOFF
Published: April 4, 1986
ROBERT JOFFREY was the first artistic director to invite the experimental modern-dance choreographers who emerged from the 1960's and the 1970's to work with a major ballet company.

The company is, of course, the Joffrey Ballet and the latest entry in this category is an exhilarating and complex new extravaganza by Laura Dean. ''Force Field'' is her third ballet for the company, and its New York premiere Wednesday night at the State Theater showed Miss Dean working on a new and expansive block-busting scale.

Costumed completely in white and danced with the human equivalent of jet propulsion, ''Force Field'' is the ''Sylphides'' of the space age.

The new ballet, set to a metallic-sounding tape of Steve Reich's ''Six Pianos,'' employs a cast of 20 but has the density and appearance of twice that number. Miss Dean has always known how to fill a stage, even in her most reductionist days, when she honed her choreography down to a deliberately limited vocabulary and the simplest of geometric patterns.

#12 carbro

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 01:21 PM

A link to the review quoted by glebb, above.

I saw the Joffrey in Force Field and remember it as both calming and exhilarating.

#13 miliosr

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 06:24 AM

I read Laura Dean's Wikepedia entry and, if you scroll down the entry to the 'Dean's Recent Activities' section, it says that she is no longer allowing any reconstructions of her work!

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Laura_Dean

Wikepedia isn't always reliable so what's written may not be accurate . . .

#14 dirac

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 01:40 PM

Thanks, miliosr. The Wikipedia entry sounds as if it was written by a fan or fans, certainly, not unusual on Wikipedia, and the information sounds quite believable. Sounds a tad self-defeating, but it's her call. Has anyone else read or heard something?

#15 miliosr

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 04:25 PM

The Wikipedia entry sounds as if it was written by a fan or fans, certainly, not unusual on Wikipedia, and the information sounds quite believable.


I thought it read like her lawyers had written it!

Maybe she's just decided to do what I think Martha Graham wanted to do but didn't do -- let the works die with her.


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