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Dancers listening to music they've danced


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#1 Alexandra

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Posted 21 February 2002 - 02:05 AM

Choreo posted what I thought was an excellent question on the Tchaikovsky thread. I hope some of our dancers and former dancers (and young dancers, too!) will see this and tell us, as Choreo wrote:

"How do other dancers feel when knowing a piece of music, and then performing to it? How do your attitudes change (or not) concerning that music?"

#2 Xena

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Posted 22 February 2002 - 03:32 PM

I will try to answer as best I can smile.gif

I am presuming that you don't know in advance that you may dance to this piece of music?

Normally prior to dancing to a piece of music I will have perhaps listened to it, thought 'hmmm nice bit of music' and gone on with life.
But when I then find myself performing to it, it changes it entirely. Suddenly its all I listen to, on the way to work in the morning, at work, on the way home.
You discover all these little nuances, and suddenly every note to me becomes an instruction. then forever afterwards, whenever I hear that particular piece of music, its as though it talks to me, and I can remember most of the steps. Even now when I listen to a piece of music that I danced to when I was 12, I can still do the dance more or less. So I think it changes my attitude towards that piece of music for good, and helps me listen to music more, in general and appreciate it more.

(My experience is mainly from dancing to a piece of music for a performance and especially for my set syallbus classes when I was doing exams. wink.gif wink.gif

jeanette

#3 Alexandra

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Posted 22 February 2002 - 04:30 PM

Xena, I was thinking of a dancer knowing a piece of music well and having his or her own thoughts about it, and then dancing in a ballet where that music is the score.

#4 Xena

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Posted 22 February 2002 - 05:15 PM

Oh sorry..I'm thought I may have got it wrong!

Okay, I'll try again smile.gif

Recently I have just done this. It is music by Debussy, entitled Clair de lune, and I have listened to this before and know it well, or rather thought I knew it well. Dancing to it has changed it for me. Its just given me a different perspective on it totally. I think I enjoy listening to it more now, than I did then, because I can now feel the music rather than just appreciate it.

I think I'll shut up now, as I've probably got completely the wrong end of the stick again. Sorry frown.gif

#5 Alexandra

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Posted 22 February 2002 - 05:23 PM

I didn't mean to suggest that there was a wrong end of the stick, just trying to clarify my question. I can imagine that learing a work, much less dancing it, could change one's impression of a piece of music.

#6 Xena

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Posted 22 February 2002 - 06:05 PM

cool, sorry I know. I just know that you and a lot of people who write on the forums on the general discussion boards know so much about ballet, not just the dancing side biggrin.gif and I try to learn from you all, so sometimes I am hesitant to join a discussion as I feel I don't know enough to speka up, but I guess you have to start somehwere and I may as well learn from experienced and knowledgeable people like yourself wink.gif Its good for me to try and learn more than just the technical aspects of dance, as there really is so much more......
Jeanette x

#7 Alymer

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 05:54 PM

Alexandra, I can only refer you a book about Fonteyn by Keith Money. He describes how she turned up at his studio one morning just after he'd put on a record of Le Tricorne. She threw off her coat and immediately started to dance the solo of the Miller's Wife. Having danced it all the way through, she fell onto the sofa and said "Oh I used to love doing that. I'm sure I was no good in it at all, but it was such fun to do."
I suspect you can't hear the music to which you've danced without the steps and the mood of the dance coming back, for good or ill.

[ February 25, 2002: Message edited by: Alymer ]



#8 Alexandra

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Posted 25 February 2002 - 05:58 PM

What a lovely story, Alymer! Especially since I've read that she wasn't well-cast as the Miller's Wife.

I think we could get back a lot of ballets if someone would just play the music for the dancers who once danced it.

#9 Brioche

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Posted 17 September 2002 - 10:59 AM

Wow, great thread and I just discovered it today.

Two examples from me:

Les Noces - Stravninsky

Had I not dance this ballet (Nijinksa's) I, in all honesty, would not have paid much attention to it. BUT - having the honor of dancing this masterpiece and working with Nijinkska's daughter I fell in love with the score (and Stravinsky in general.)

Piano Concerto #2 - Shostakovich

I loved this piece before I danced to it (a wonderful ballet by Carlos Carvajal.) In fact I play it to get through my stairmaster workout! haha......It's gorgeous, inspirational and the tempi are perfect for the workout!

I have many others that motivate me........more later.

David

#10 Farrell Fan

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Posted 17 September 2002 - 12:00 PM

Suzanne Farrell says that for quite a while after she retired she couldn't bear hearing music she'd danced to. Or, indeed, any music. She got over it when she started staging ballets.

#11 Mel Johnson

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Posted 17 September 2002 - 12:15 PM

If certain works are playing on the radio while I'm napping, MY CUE can wake me from the soundest slumber! ;)

#12 CygneDanois

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Posted 18 September 2002 - 07:28 PM

Same for me--I don't think I'll ever be able to watch or listen to the Peasant Pas de Deux ever again. It was interesting, though, singing Les Noces--once you know what the words mean, Nijinska's choreography doesn't seem to make much sense at all. I can't say I've known a piece of music and then had to dance to it, though...unless finally dancing the Cavalier in the Nutcracker after listening to that beautiful pas de deux for years and years counts!

#13 MJ

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Posted 11 October 2002 - 08:13 PM

Lucky you, Danois!
I just heard Nutcracker (It's now October, I can now say the "N" word!") in class today. The Coda is truly one of the best I know. "Footnotes" on bravoTV calls N the ballet everyone loves to hate. They hate to do the sme ballet every year, but most dancers love the music.
I do a Ballanchine N in CT. Mr. B added a violin solo from Sleeping Beauty to the scene where Clara comes down from her bedroom to get her nutcracker (as if that scene isn't long enough!). My dressing room is right next to the orchestra, the music is georgous, it will make you weep. The audience always applauds the solo. Pity Clara is asleep on the sofa, someone should really be dancing to that music! The only movement is Clara's mum looking for her.

MJ


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