Dance Music

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Monday, February 08, 2010

The connection between music and dance is maybe as old as the genres themselves. People were compelled to move from the minute rhythm appeared on the scene and compelled to make music since the inception of purposeful artistic movement. Weirdly, the daily lives of Classical musicians and dancers too often rarely intersect.

As much of a quotidian rarity as this interaction may be (and I’m pretty much talking about the Classical Music world, I’m fully into Beyoncé et al.) there have been amazing collaborations between music and dance since Classical Music’s inception: Baroque dance inspired Bach, the choreography to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring incited riots, John Cage and Merce Cunningham made amazing, revolutionary art, Meredith Monk refused to identify herself as exclusively dancer or composer.

We are taking this week on Q2 to celebrate all the ways that music and dance interact: dance form as abstract inspiration, choreography as motivation, and dance as afterthought. Listening to music with a thought towards dance always makes me consider phrases, energy, and mood in a different light. I am left wondering: would all music benefit from movement?

Hosted by:

Nadia Sirota

Comments [6]

Where is our "Report" utility when we need it? There is a definite spam injection here.

Aug. 28 2010 05:35 PM
sj from Brooklyn

I have been a big Q2 fan ever since the whole WNCY/WQXR merger/diaster. I brought an old laptop back to life to listen in the living room, and bought an internet radio for the bedroom. But I have to say I was so disappointed with the playlist over the past few weeks - way too much choral music. And then this last week, I have to say I am loving it again. Am I crazy or was there a LOT of choral music in January?

Feb. 11 2010 09:33 PM

And here's the Barber! Fantastic! Super Meredith Monk on the show today, too. This week is great. I'm wondering if it's possible to hear anything of Richard Peaslee, the composer of work used by Martha Clarke in some of her great works for Music Theatre Group, The Garden of Earthly Delights, Vienna Lusthaus, The Hunger Artist and Miracolo d’Amore. -p.

Feb. 11 2010 02:34 PM
Tom Pile from New York

The better part of my musical career was spent in dance classes, making 'muscle music' for Merce Cunningham, Viola Farber, Doug Varone, Mark Morris, Dan Waggoner, Lar Lubovitch, and many, many other great teachers. I always felt it was a privilege to serve and support dancers. No audience ever appreciated music more, and no concert or performance was ever as rewarding as daily class, where my music was put to immediate and profound use. To your question, music certainly benefits from movement. It was and is a constant source of inspiration, and dance benefits from music. It's a chicken and egg thing - hard to imagine one without the other.

Feb. 10 2010 09:46 PM
Nancy Long

As a choreographer, my mantra is "so much music, so little time." All music is muse.

Feb. 09 2010 09:48 PM

GREAT theme for the week, Nadia! Is it OK to drop you a few faves to consider? How about Barber, "Medea's Meditation and Dance of Vengeance?". He later shortened the title to just "Medea's Dance of Vengeance." It's from his 1946 original piece for Martha Graham. She set it as "The Serpent Heart" and then "Cave of the Heart" in '47. The superb Marin Alsop -- I hereby dub her the Martha Graham of conductors :-) -- has a great recording out with the Scottish National.

As for your great question, I think all music IS movement in terms of sonic force and emotional agility, choreographed in and by our minds as we hear it. You know the term "psychosomatic," of course. I think music is psychosonic -- it exists as a type of mental movement. And I'd better stop right there before you have me committed. :-)

Feb. 08 2010 01:34 PM

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