I've been looking at youtube clips of babies moving naturally to music. It's fascinating and really funny to see them captured by music. We are incredibly hard-wired to have a physical response to music. Why , then do we get fearful about performing it!?
It's that time of year when everyone is going Nuts about buying gifts for each other...sometimes it's better to take a bit of time out and enjoy the really good things in life. If it means going to see Wonderful Life at your local independent cinema (I'm mad about independent cinema!) or watching a production of a famous old favourite. Why not try Scottish Ballet's Nutcracker for a bit of festive head scratching (honest it's not the fleas in the theatre, it's the plot!)
It's been a while since my last blog as I've been away from my computer working on many shows. Not all dance! Have a look at Glasgow Girls produced by The National Theatre of Scotland. http://citz.co.uk/whatson/info/glasgow_girls/
Meantime, there's a thrust for new music to come out of the classical dance scene. No more Victorian Piano Music for class!!
It's our duty to have a mindset for 21stC theatre and we CAN make a difference . I will be speaking over the next months to some major players in the development of the role of Musician in the world of Dance. Watch this space!
I have just been visiting the Dance School of Scotland today. The Scottish Government fund talented students to study dance within a mainstream school and was the brainchild of the sadly missed First Minister of Scotland, Donald Dewar. What an insight he had. Many students have gone on to dance with professional companies, most notably Ian and Rory MacKay now principle and soloist at Birmingham Royal Ballet.
English National Ballet are currently looking for a new Dance Repetiteur with their company after an old friend of mine has now retired from the Company. Last year's student From Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Seho Lee, has been nominated for shortlist. I'm so happy for him as he was our student here with Scottish Ballet for the past two years.
That's the new season well and truly started at scottish Ballet with new Artistic Director Chris Hampson. I played men's class yesterday and it was BRUTAL! When warm-up jumps last for 15 minutes (I mean with NO BREAK - this is one exercise) you know he means business in getting us all fit. I mean that for pianists too....it's a real physical workout playing for 90 minutes. Well it keeps my arms toned and the dancers legs like jelly!
I went to hear a young musician improvising for silent movie last night. Buster keaton's The General. what a wonderful film and what a talent in David Gray. He's still at Royal Academy of Music but will go far!
Next month sees the first Masters student qualify in UK in Dance Accompaniment. As we know there are many International students who grace our Conservatoires round the country. Unfortunately the Government has placed a very restricted time on International students finding full-time jobs in UK and so I wave goodbye to my friend and fellow musician in a few months. Pity.
I had a lovely lunch recently with Jonathan Still at RAD headquarters in London. After all those years, (!) we are both ever enthusiastic about the influence music has on dance and the symbiotic relationship the two arts have upon each other.I was lecturing at the Royal Conservatoire yesterday and enjoyed wise debate with 1st year students on this matter....
It's such an interesting cross section of 2 artforms when music and dance define each other. I truly believe there is a 'universal truth' that the shape of movement is entirely reflected in music. Not only that, but some music written with no dance in mind still harbours these qualites. Mozart for one got it.......
I've been designing a poster for my website and decided that the world of dance relies too heavily on the ballet shoe image. Much as masks represent drama and treble clef embodies the world of music. When you see my new 'work of art' I think you'll like it!
I am currently developing a course in which musicians 'Discussions in Dance' can talk openly about their experiences in the world of dance. This will not only be thoughts on musical syntax in the world of the moving image, but also an opportunity to express ways of negotiating a better relationship with your dance professor.
Scottish Ballet's 'Streetcar Named Desire' opens on wednesday. Went to see Marlon Brando and Vivienne Leigh's classic at Glasgow Film theatre yesterday. I didn't think I cared for Tennessee Williams writing but now i do!
I've got to say, tere's nothing better than having a great website creator who answers loads of my queries regarding the admin of it all. Glauco di Lieto is amazing. He doesn't know I'm blogging this - but he is truly a rare breed! www.webrightnow.co.uk