The Circus Comes to Town, conclusion
As rehearsed, I felt a tap on my left shoulder about 20 seconds into the second piece of the second act of the show, the Dance of the Four Little Swans. Or, as it is simply referred to among dancers, Cygnets. It was the mime, Vladimir, trying to coax me off the podium to join him and his partner downstage. With feigned irritation I waved him off and indicated I was presently occupied conducting a symphony orchestra. The audience must have enjoyed the moment because momentarily the sound of laughter obscured the music of the orchestra.
The Dance of the Four Little Swans was a piece that I knew quite well, having performed it literally hundreds of times in the context of the complete ballet with dancers. It’s a charming piece that showcases the fleet footwork and coordination of four ladies dancing in close proximity to each other; always connected to one another with crossed arms. Except for the final two chords of the piece, the texture of the orchestration is rather transparent, and the orchestra can easily play it with little input from a conductor.continue>>
The Circus Comes to Town pt. 1
I was conducting the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in a program entitled Cirque de la Symphonie. A touring group of circus performers have developed an impressive act which utilizes symphonic music while they perform in front of the orchestra. The acts feature jugglers, contortionists, aerialists, feats of eye-popping balance and strength, and a bit of magic.continue>>