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Music with Dancers

Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 13:53:35 -0500
From: WahooFive(a)aol.com
Subject: Chorus with dance response summary (long)

Synopsis of responses to the following request. I notice that most of the
suggested works were not written specifically for dance; obviously dancers
don't have the obsession with historical performance that we musicians do.

ORIGINAL REQUEST:

>>I am considering collaborating with a local dance department on a concert
>>which would include Menotti's "The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore"
>>(with which the dancers are already familiar).
>>
>>Can anyone suggest any other works for chorus and dancers? The Menotti
calls
>>for a number of instruments (though not a full orchestra) as well.
>>
>>Allen H Simon
>>Bay Area Lutheran Chorale
>>WahooFive(a)aol.com

SUMMARY OF RESPONSES:
*****

John & Susie Howell (John.Howell(a)vt.edu):

>One or more of Monteverdi's Madrigals of Love and War call for dancers
>playing the principal characters. It would require a choreographer well
>grounded in Renaissance/Early Baroque dance. One that we've done may be
>"Tirsi e Clori," or it may be one of the other ones. Hard to remember.

*****

> I would suggest the Brahms Liebeslieder and Neue Liebeslieder
> Walzer..... Of course you'd have to have someone choreograph them for
> you..... I know of concerts that have been done with dancers to this
> piece, but I am unaware if any of the choreography has been notated...
>
> timothy j beck

*****

> Probably the wrong time of year for you, but I have used dancers with
> Lloyd Pfautsch's A day for dancing with good success. I'm also using
> them this spring in a concert version of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas.
>
> Dr. Timothy G. Cooper, Professor

*****

> I'm sure you've considered doing one of the three sections from Carmina,
> or the Britten Gloriana dances...?
>
> David Griggs-Janower

I haven't, actually, since my choir has less than 40 singers, which I didn't
mention earlier.

*****

>A number of years ago I sang in the Westminster Choir. One summer at the
>Spoleto festival we did Stravinsky's Les Noces with a ballet company. The
>instrumentation is a bit odd: four pianos and percussion. It is a super
>piece, though.
>John Tute


*****

> Argento's "Masque of Angels"
> Stravinsky "Symphony of Psalms","Les Noces"
>
> You didn't say what type of dance and although the Stravinsky pieces are
> technically ballet, I've seen very modern dance performances. The
> Argento is more of a choral/dance theatre piece, like the Rutter, and
> would make a good pairing if it doesn't exceed the time frame you have
> in mind.
>
> Regards, Patricia Romza, Director of Choral Activities

*****

> You might try Kirke Meecham's "Singing is So Good A Thing" for choir,
> orchestra, narration and dancers.
>
>
> Dr. Douglas Dunsmore

*****

> The BOBS, one of the Bay Area's best known a/c groups, have done two
> collaborations with the dance group ISO. I have one of the performances,
> which was videotaped. You can come by and watch it if you'd like (I'm
> in Oakland.) It's only an hour long.
>
> Many songs from musicals would work.
>
> Paul Sinasohn sinasohn(a)netcom.com SF Native CAL
> '80

*****

>
>Try Mack Wilberg's arrangment of "Cindy." Hinshaw music, HMC-1051.

*****

> I have used dancers also with the Brahms LIEBESLIDER WALTZES. I too
> would like to hear about other programming ideas with dancers
>
> Jeordano Martinez

*****

>
>Allen, it may interest you to know that the Orpheus Choir of Toronto did
>just such a concert, in collaboration with the Toronto Dance Theatre (I
>think), and with about a six-piece orchestra, maybe three years ago.

*****

> Years ago in grad school I prepared the University of Illinois grad
> chorale for performances with the dance department. we did the Menotti
> along with a danced version of the Bernstein Chichester Psalms.
[...]
> other possibitilities: Britten Choral Dances from "Gloriana" the whole
> thing, with tenor solo and harp (Boosey and Hawkes) The whole excerpt,
> not just the unaccompanied choral suite, is really neat, and is
> designed to be danced. I did it with our dancers here at Loyola
> University in New Orleans a couple years ago. Distler Totentanz Orff
> Carmina Burana, or even better Catulli Carmina Stravinsky Les Noces if
> you can get four pianos on the same stage! good luck!
> Steve Edwards

*****

> I have done the "Choruses from 'The Lark'" (L Bernstein) in their stage
> play order with two actors but it always occurred to me that it could
> well be danced. I've also done Honegger's "King David" with dancers
> and everyone seemed to think it worked wonderfully well.
>
> Roger O. Doyle

*****

> Another work that is good with choreography is the "Tom O'Bedlem" by
> Jacob Avshalomov. This is a very moving work for chorus, oboe, Tam Tam
> and one male dancer. It does not call for choreography, but really
> moves the story along. Difficult, but well worth the work.
>
> Mel Ivey

*****

> One of the most memorable/moving experiences I had as a graduate student
> was helping prepare the UCLA Chorus for a performance of the Kodaly
> Missa Brevis with the Jose Limon dance troupe. I don't know if the
> labanotation is written down, or if there is a video, but it worked
> quite well, and the accompaniment can be done with organ only.
>
> I also did a piece at Stanford by Ron Sindelar called Medusa the Ship
> (never saw the choreography, though, my back was to the
> dancers)--chorus, tape & percussion.--One gigantic crescendo
> essentially, but effective...
>
> Regards,
>
> Vern Sanders

*****

> Pfautsch's A Day for Dancing (Lawson-Gould)
> with woodwind ensemble

*****

> If you're up for something completely different, look into Charles
> Davidson's *The Last Sabbath*, a "dance-drama" for chorus a cappella.
> It's available from him c/o Congregation Adath Jeshurun, Old York &
> Ashbourne Roads, Elkins park, PA 19027; please tell him I sent you. His
> home phone is 215-782-1374 (He's not online, unfortunately. . .)
>
> Robert A.M. Ross

*****

> LLoyd Pfautsch "A Day for Dancing" is intended to incorporate dancers.
>
> K. Smith, Webster Univ.

*****

> Since there have been a couple of queries regarding music for chorus and
> dancers, I dug out an old program I did several years ago which might
> be of interest.1. Dancing and Springing (Hassler), This have I done for
> my true love (Holst)--sung only, 2. Nine Balletti (Gastoldi) which
> were danced to; 3. Flora Now Calleth Forth (John Stafford Smith)--sung
> only; 4. Choral Dances from Gloriana (Britten) which were danced to.
> After intermission, we had a Haydn String Quartet danced to, followed
> by Three Shaker Melodies (arr. Hunter) and Sing with Life (arr. Tim
> Smith)--both sung, only. The big finish was Tirsi e Clori by
> Monteverdi, danced to.
>
> On another occasion we did Les Noces with dancers, but that's not what
> people are looking for, is it? - Harriet Simons, University at Buffalo

*****

> Greetings,
>
> At Stephen F. Austin State University we just completed a joint venture
> with our Department of Dance in Distler's Totentanz. As a Lutheran this
> work maybe just what your looking for....Good luck. TK

*****
> I believe it was at last year's ACDA National Convention in Washington
> DC, that Charlene Archibeque did her whole presentation on singing with
> dancers dancing. I'm sure, that if she were contacted at California
> State University San Jose, she could provide some info. Unfortunately,
> she is not on e mail, so a phone call or snail mail is the only present
> recourse.
>
> Dean M. Estabrook

I just might. It's a local call (excuse me, an "intra-LATA" call) for me.

*****

> Allen,
> i've seen Carmina Burana done with dancers. Alsp Britten's Cantata
> Misericordium, but I felt dancers were a little too distracting. What
> about some choruses from Monterverdi's Orfeo or the Incoranazione di
> Poppea?
>
> Patricia Corbin

*****

> Greetings! People often forget that the Carmina Burana cycle (three
> oratorios in all) was conceived as a dance worek, and there are reduced
> prchestrations available. Also, the Britten "Glorianna" suite, and
> don't forget the Early Baroque-- i.e, Monteverdi's "Tirsi e Clori," or
> "Ballo delle ingrate" (any work labelled "ballo" for that matter). Best
> of luck!
>
> Jeffrey M. Jones, Choral Division

END OF SUMMARY

Allen H Simon
Bay Area Lutheran Chorale
WahooFive(a)aol.com

Date: Mon, 29 Jan 1996 19:38:50 -0600 (CST)
From: Robert Taylor
Subject: Re: Chorus with dance response summary (long)

Regarding pieces which involve dance, you might call Oxford and ask for a
sample copy of "The Bridal Day--A Masque for Dancing" by Ralph Vaughan
Williams. This work was later revised into a cantata: "Epithalamion."
While I prefer the cantata to the masque, "The Bridal day" is a fine
work, and one which was written specifically to be danced.

Both pieces, BTW, are Vaughan Williams rarities: only one recording of
Epithalamion is currently available (Willcocks with the Bach Choir and
London Phil.), though another recording of this work is scheduled for
release this summer on the Centaur label...conducted by yours truly.:)
(Please forgive this shameless plug).

Rob Taylor
Asst. Director of Choral Activities
University of Central Oklahoma
on September 4, 2002 10:00pm
David Conte's "Invocation and Dance" might be very interesting with dancers. It is a challenging work with percusson and four hand piano for either male or mixed chorus.
on February 11, 2003 10:00pm
Philip Wilby (Professor of Composition, Leeds University, U.K. has written a work for symphonic wind band, chorus (SATB) and kids chorus with dancers and a narrator called a Passion for Our times - it can be done as a concert performance without dancers, or as a 'danced' dramatic eucharistic rite. It's published by Maecenas.
on September 11, 2003 10:00pm
My song, "Snowfall," written for SSAA has been choregraphed with one dancer, but I have always envisioned a solitary dancer beginning the piece with several more dancers added later into the piece. To see and hear the score, go to www.songsforall.com or e-mail kayne@songsforall.com to receive a preview score.
on February 6, 2011 4:37pm
Addendum regarind "Snowfall".  This song and all others on the www.songsforall.com site can be downloaded FOR FREE.  Please notify kayne(a)songsforall.com if you plan to download and/or rehearse and perform any of the songs.  If you are interested in seeing other pieces besides what is on the website, notify at the same email address.