Saturday, January 28, 2012

What can movement add to a performance? - Example 2

The next example of a music and movement relationship is brass ensemble playing for dancers.  In this example, I am specifically talking about professional dancers and choreographed works.  I was able to find two excellent examples online. The first is example is the San Antonio Brass.  This brass quintet collaborated with the Guadalupe Dance Company, "one of the leading Folkl√≥rico and Flamenco dance groups."1  

In this performance, dance and music are combined to create art, celebrate culture, and share a traditional Spanish and Mexican dance style.

Another example of dancers with brass is the Music in Motion project. It is a collaboration (in progress, I believe) between the Atlantic Brass Quintet and the kerPlunk Dance Company.  The performers include the 5 brass musicians and 5 dancers.  Here is a link to the Atlantic Brass Quintet website which includes a promotional video and a press release with information about the collaboration.

Hopefully there will be an opportunity to see a performance! Working with other artists is inspiring and educational. I hope to do something like this in the future. 

See also:

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What can movement add to a performance? - Example 1

One of the first questions that came to mind when I started this blog was, "Are there any brass musicians who do a routine while they play?" Yes! Here is a great video of the Canadian Brass doing their "Tribute to the Ballet."

Movement and dance play a huge role in this performance.  If you were only listening to this piece, you would have a different reaction. With this specific recording, you would be confused about the laughter. If it was a studio recording, the music would sound much more serious and dramatic. Although, there are a few humorous moments in the music.  For example there are a couple of big tuba notes/splats. Yet, it is the dancing that makes this performance humorous.  Clearly, these men are not dancers and it is funny to watch them try. Still, they do quite a good job.  The choreography and music are memorized and the music still sounds fantastic. The Canadian Brass are an excellent example of how to use movement in a performance effectively. Their website describes them perfectly:

 "Masters of concert presentations — from formal classical concerts to music served up with lively dialogue and theatrical effects — Canadian Brass has developed a uniquely engaging stage presence and rapport with audiences. Whatever the style, the music is central and performed with utmost dedication, skill and excellence. The hallmark of any Canadian Brass performance is entertainment, spontaneity, virtuosity and, most of all, fun."

I especially like the part "Music is central and performed with utmost dedication, skill and excellence." Movement does not detract from their art.  The members of the Canadian Brass are highly respected by musicians and they can entertain the masses. Movement in this case, made the performance humorous and accessible. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ready, Set, Blog!

Hello! This is my first post for my blog as part of the Advanced Brass Ensemble Literature course.  When I was thinking about a topic, my first idea was to search for a connection between brass and dance. Are there any choreographed dance works set to brass music? Are there any specific brass groups that play for dancers (either for choreography or at a club)? Are there any brass musicians who do a routine while they play? As I started researching I decided to change my idea from dance to movement in general. The goal is to learn about any brass ensemble music where either the performers or the audience is in motion. This can include dancing, walking, running, marching, swimming, traveling by automobile, etc.  I've already found several examples and I can't wait to learn more! I hope this blog can help me, and anyone who wants to read it, learn about various brass ensembles and their cultural significance throughout history.  Also, I hope to inspire new ideas for brass performance.