miliosr

Dances Set to Steve Reich's Drumming

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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??

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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.

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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.com/1984/07/27/arts/dan...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.

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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.newmusicbox.org/archive/firstpe.../reich/bio.html

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 . . .

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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.

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A link to the review quoted by glebb, above.

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

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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.org/wiki/Laura_Dean

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

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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?

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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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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?

Dean has been very protective of her work, and from time to time has wanted to rescind permissions for performances. This time around, according to a colleague who has staged her work in the past, I believe she has indeed closed the door, though I do not know if it will remain closed.

It's certainly her call if she wants to do it, but I truly hope it doesn't end like this. I would hate to see those works lost to future audiences.

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According to Rita Feliciano's review of Liss Fain Dance Company in danceviewtimes, Fain set "Resolved" "a reworking of last year’s "At the Time" to a different Steve Reich score." "At the Time" was set to "You Are (Variations)" according to Rachel Howard's review from last September, but I can't find the name of the Reich piece to which the new version is choreographed.

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My friend Tom Mossbrucker was allowed to reconstruct and present Laura Dean's first ballet for Joffrey - NIGHT for his Aspen-Santa Fe Ballet just two or three months ago.

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My friend Tom Mossbrucker was allowed to reconstruct and present Laura Dean's first ballet for Joffrey - NIGHT for his Aspen-Santa Fe Ballet just two or three months ago.

But when did Laura Dean give her approval? The Wiki entry states that there are a number of pre-"no more revivals" performance licenses out there (which will gradually expire.)

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I've got to ask Tom. I know that the performance was quite recent but I do not know when the agreement was made.

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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??

This might interest you... Here is a quote from an article by Sanjoy Roy, "Step-by-step guide to dance: Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and Rosas". The Guardian. Tuesday 8 September 2009.

Steve Reich's "jaw dropped" when he saw De Keersmaeker's work for the first time. He had known of her since the early 80s ("some woman with a very long name") but hadn't seen any of her work until a performance of Fase in 1999. "Of all the choreography done to my music," he said, "this was by far the best thing I'd seen … it was all analogous to the music. On an emotional and psychological level I felt I'd learned something about my own work."

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There is an Alastair Macaulay review in today's NY Times of two works to the same Reich work, Double Sextet, shown at the Works & Process series at the Guggenheim. Mr. Reich, along with choreographers Larry Keigwin and Peter Quanz, took part in the Q & A after the last performance.

Mr. Macaulay calls Mr. Reich "among the most choreographed of living composers."

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