Irregular time signatures in balleta couple of questions.
Posted 20 May 2010 - 07:31 PM
Would it be difficult to keep the counts for a dancer who can't follow this irregular time...?
Are there other examples of the surviving XIX Century ballet repertoire with some type of irregular time...?
Thanks in advance!
Posted 20 May 2010 - 09:51 PM
Nureyev changed the gemstone to gold and turned it into a male role, but he used the music.
Posted 20 May 2010 - 10:12 PM
The greater challenge, likely, is to the choreographer.
Posted 21 May 2010 - 12:25 AM
Posted 21 May 2010 - 01:55 AM
When I was a dancer, I always loved the chance to dance to things which were not so "common"; and I try to incorporate irregular time signatures in my classes when I can.
'Probably just takes hearing again and again to get used to it.
Good point about the choreography, carbro. ;)
If I am not mistaken, in other cultures what we call "irregular" times are much more common.
Posted 21 May 2010 - 04:36 AM
EDITED TO ADD: So sorry, didn't see the post above that already discussed this!
Posted 21 May 2010 - 04:42 AM
Posted 21 May 2010 - 07:17 AM
If you mean dancers and dance music, maybe, but 5/4 and 5/8 is pretty frequent throughout the 20th century, even if it's not the most usual even so. All of the cutting-edge composers from the 20s and 30s on used a lot of 5/4 and 7/8, etc,. before they even dispensed with meter completely when the needed to serialize rhythm as well as dynamics and pitch.. Responding here mainly to your citing of 'Take Five', which I didn't know had been made into a dance, although it would seem logical for it to have been used a lot. Everybody from Elliott Carter back to Virgil Thomson and Copland and Stravinsky, and Hall Overton and Vivian Fine and Jacob Druckman and David Diamond, and there's lots of those time signatures in Leonard Bernstein. These irregular meters are different from 'no meter' for dancers than 'no meter at all', which is itself an interesting further matter along the same lines. I'm sure Balanchine's 'Pythoprakta' to the Xennakis piece must be danced without much attention to 'keeping with the meter', and there are dozens of dances like that, where the dance rhythm and meter has to be independent, even in Steve Reich; this would be different from irregular, but definite, meters, esp. if they are sustained for long passages, which the dancers could not 'dance against and with', but would be in some kind of synchorinization with the music. I thought there might even be some irregular-meter passages in 'Fancy Free', but don't know the score that well. And surely there must be in lots of Robbins and Graham--whether the never-seen 'Age of Anxiety' or in Wm. Schuman's 'Night Journey.' Also probably in DelloJoio, although I don't know about 'Diversion of Angels', I think it's pretty regular throughout, but not sure.
Interesting about 5/4 'waltzes' though. Never heard of that.
Posted 21 May 2010 - 07:25 AM
I think people just say that as a way to try to categorize it, Tchai. 6 being exemplary in this regard--the movement where it's used appears in the symphony where a waltz movement might appear, and it has a kind of lilt to it, like a waltz. And if you were to do a step to it on every beat, as one does in a waltz, it would alternate feet/sides. But one need look no further than Sapphire in Beauty to hear a 5/4 that doesn't evoke a waltz at all.
Posted 21 May 2010 - 07:30 AM
Posted 21 May 2010 - 07:40 AM
Posted 21 May 2010 - 07:47 AM
Posted 21 May 2010 - 08:06 AM
Posted 21 May 2010 - 08:21 AM
Think back to the original run of Bernstein's Candide: Audiences felt uncomfortable with the composer's unusual (for then) shifting-meter melodies - "Oh Happy Pair" is two bars of 2/4, followed by one in 3/4 before breaking into a coda of all 3/4. Today at Pops concerts it's a frequent practice for the conductor to come on, give the downbeat, walk away from the podium, and just let the orchestra play the overture as a kind of big parlor trick.
A thought about "Le Papillon" - Offenbach's music, in its time, was considered rather eccentric. Interpolating a 5/4 march might not have seemed like such a shock to audiences faced with Offenbach's already "crazy" score.
Posted 03 September 2011 - 09:51 AM
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