Just before I was asked to direct Boheme for film, my cousin, the director of the Vienna state opera asked me to direct my first on stage production of Boris Godunov. I wanted to, but was also intimidated by this task. I’m a filmmaker with a strong documentary background. Our mediums don’t mix too well. I’m searching for realism and authenticity. I’m also used to correcting mistakes and ask for as many takes of a scene as necessary. I’m also of the school of “less is more” as far as facial expressions are concerned. This, of course, is not necessarily the best prerequisite to direct opera. Once I met Anna and Rolando I realized that both are far more versatile than just performing on stage. They understood the intimacy of the camera very quickly and the strength of a close up. Unlike movie stars who watch their performance after each take to be reassured about their good looks, Anna and Rolando where able to view objectively and without vanity. The collaboration with them was joyous and playful. Anna was in her third month of pregnancy while she played the dying Mimi.1f93
Published on September 22, 2009
Published on April 23, 2009
On January 14, 2008, pianist Jeremy Denk wrote this blog entry about his preparations for his performance of the Goldberg Variations at Wall to Wall Bach last May—which he will reprise on May 7.
The Goldberg Variations are (intake of breath, flip of hair, reluctant uprise of gesturing arm) … is there any way out of this? … the Goldberg Variations are … wait, hold on a moment, we needn’t bother to say, it transcends saying, it’s effing ineffable! and don’t you know that in place of speech we should roll our bloodshot eyes at the infinities we receive through our retinae and via vibrations rammed up our ear canals … does anyone have a Q-tip? … but here we go, out with it now, the Goldberg Variations are (don’t just say it you idiot, slight pompous lift to tone, now, give it some heft, some vavoom!): sublime, perfect, divine, magnificent. Whew. Don’t you feel better, now? Pat me on the back, I may have burped meanwhile. Read More »
Published on April 7, 2009
Until Blue, a sextet set to music played by the Vitamin String Quartet, will be driven by the athleticism that has become Nicholas Andre Dance’s signature style of movement. An exhilarating, fast-paced work, Until Blue will test the physical boundaries and limits that are an essential part of the joy of dancing.
Published on April 3, 2009
Well it was a wild ride last night; somewhere between a crazy cruise ship and downtown burlesque show. I loved it. It was such a treat performing with these crazy characters. Fifteen of us. Lots of skin and Lots of laughs. I think of our kabaret work as Keigwin + Company’s alter ego – a chance to get a little wrecky…..wrecky in the best sense. I’m a fan of mistakes. I’m a fan of mishaps. I’m a fan of mischievous behavior. I know tonight (Friday, April 3) is sold out, but there is always Saturday night and the next two weekends. Come join the zaniness. Up, Up and Away.
Published on April 3, 2009
The Blues in the Night theme is incorporated into my work very abstractly. The woman dancer in my piece wears a blue leotard (though that is not very abstract), but what I identify as “blue” is the chilling nature of the music. The music depicts, to me, a deep, velvety, navy blue sky with wisps of icy coolness blowing over the listener’s ear. The majesty of the music can be seen in natural examples, such as the ocean or “purple mountains majesty”… to name a few. Also, since the piece explores the various states of a relationship, from tender beginnings to tensile endings, I suppose you could also attribute the color blue as the metaphorical bruises one experiences in the throes of love.
Published on April 1, 2009
For Symphony Space’s annual Dance Sampler on April 25, twelve choreographers were asked to create short works on the theme “Blues in the Night.” Here’s what that inspired in David Parker of The Bang Group.
For years I’ve been making a series of dances without music in which the sounds and rhythms made by the dancers provide their own musical accompaniment. To accomplish these pieces, the dancers rely on elaborate, memorized, counted scores. They are also only very rarely in unison, making accuracy of timing paramount. In other words, these pieces are held together through sheer mental force. I call this new work Bluestockings, which is an old fashioned word for erudite or scholarly women. I wanted to turn the expression on its head and celebrate the prodigious intelligence of Amber, Nic, and Jeff, my three bluestockings of the evening. Despite the title, they will perform barefoot, without music, to their own amplified footfalls.
Published on February 10, 2009
It was a pleasure to get these two items from enthusiastic supporters of our month-long 1939 Project.
Mr. Gene Maeroff, who attended the Culture in Context evening with E.L. Doctorow, Robert Dallek and Dick Cavett on Monday, February 2nd, sent us a list of important 1939 facts. Mr. Maeroff, who was born in 1939, has been assembling this long and fascinating list and he asked that we share it with our community.
Paul M. Van Dort sent us a link to his project reconstructing the 1939 World’s Fair. In this project, Mr. Van Dort hopes to re-create important elements from the fair in a virtual world.
Published on January 13, 2009
Michi Wiancko submitted this blog in conjunction with her participation in the event Violinist Michi Wiancko & Electric Violist Martha Mooke.
Being asked to write a blog for my upcoming concert has given me a rare opportunity to sit still and reflect. To begin, I’ve decided to write about a question that was posed to me: “How do you balance the different demands of classical repertoire and new work?” This happens to be a question that scrolls through my mind on a daily basis.
Published on January 12, 2009
Martha Mooke submitted this blog in conjunction with her participation in the event Violinist Michi Wiancko & Electric Violist Martha Mooke.
Whenever I’m asked about how I balance my life as a traditionally trained violist and being an electric 5-string violist/composer/improviser and clinician, I pause for a moment, because I’ve long since reconciled my various “guises” into one entity. Over the years I’ve encountered some curious looks from orchestral colleagues when I take out my “acoustic” viola with a pickup built into the bridge of the instrument. Or if someone had heard that I play electric viola, after the initial shock of hearing the word electric to describe a viola (no viola joke there!) it was assumed I was a jazz or rock musician.