I Don't Dance, So Don't Ask Me

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Saturday, September 03, 2011

This week, All Ears hits the dance floor. So dust of those ballroom shoes, because you'll be recalling the steps to the foxtrot, the waltz and even joining a conga line. This toe-tapping show features music by Dvorak, Glass, Ives and more.

Charles Ives loved the popular music that surrounded him at the turn of the 20th century, and often incorporated those sounds into classical forms. His Four Ragtime Dances opens the show, a work that draws on the delightfully syncopated American dances, rather than those of the European tradition. Dvorak was also fond of nationalistic music styles, including those of his native land Prague. But upon his New York arrival in 1892, he immersed himself in America's music traditions and taught his students to blend these distinct American sounds into their writing.  We hear his fanciful Prague Waltzes.

John Adams' Foxtrot for Orchestra is extracted from his opera Nixon in China. In the work, this choreographed quickstep serves as a memory of Pat Nixon's youth in the 1930's. The City of Birmingham Symphony takes us back some 80 years with their vibrant rendition of this quickstep. 
But the fun doesn't stop there. Other stops along the way include Cuba with Miguel Del Aguilla in his Conga-Line in Hell, Estonia with Eduard Tubin's Estonian Dance Suite and back in New York with Philip Glass's Dance II. All of this and much more on this week's show.

Comments [1]

Joellyn Ausanka from New York City

Sounds like a terrific week, with both familiar and less familiar work. Looking forward to it! However, one small comment about the film still of Fred and Ginger. The dance they are performing is the "Waltz in Swing Time," featured in the film of the same time, with music by Jerome Kern. A very small point, but an important one to an aficionado of Fred and Ginger's work as well as a classical music lover!

Sep. 03 2011 12:57 PM

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