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13 July 2007

Comments

peterbreslin
1.

Hi- welcome back, sorry to learn of your loss.

Dancers have unrelentingly *horrible* taste in music. I have never fully understood this. I suspect it comes from years of dance education wherein one is forced to do showcases and so on by teachers who also have horrible taste in music. Like some sort of perverse oral tradition. It amazes me that many of the finest dancers I know, all of whom are aesthetes of tremendous sophistication in many areas, have crappy and tacky taste in music.

PB

Jason Guthartz
2.

"I don't really get dance as an art form. It never seems to click for me."

I hear ya. It didn't click for me until I saw the Merce Cunningham Company here in Chicago a few years ago, a truly revelatory experience. It helps that Cunningham's taste in music has always been impeccable.

Chris Becker
3.

I have been composing for dancers for about four years now here in NYC. I have found that dancers are incredibly open to music in all styles and time periods. Working with choreographers has allowed me to grow significantly as a composer AND most importantly as a listener. Dancers hear things in music that musicians might overlook.

And from the tone of this post (and I do like this blog a lot, by the way), I'm thinking there's a lot of dancers here in NYC you just haven't seen in the flesh.

CB

DJA
4.

And from the tone of this post (and I do like this blog a lot, by the way), I'm thinking there's a lot of dancers here in NYC you just haven't seen in the flesh.

That's certainly true -- and I thought that was pretty evident from my post!

Anyway, as always, I'm not trying to make any Grand Pronouncements here. But it seemed important to mention up front that when it comes to dance, I am a total philistine. In other words, I'm offering you your grain of salt in advance.

Chris Becker
5.

I guess I've enjoyed your blog for variety of musical events you've covered and the general tone of your writing. And I was surprised to see a post that began with "I don't really get dance as an art form..." And much of my work has been in collaboration with dancers - so I guess I got irked.

And it's your blog - I get it. And I get that the program had some pretty cheesy stuff in it. I'm not trying to bust your chops. But I can recommend some choreographers in town that work with live music and composers that you might dig...Let me know..?

DJA
6.

Hey Chris,

Again, when I say I don't generally "get" dance as an art form, I'm not making any kind of blanket claim. I'm not saying that I think dance is in any way a bad or substandard art form, and I'm certainly not launching some kind of general broadside against dancers, choreographers, composers who write for dance, dance audiences, and so on. I'm just saying that in my incredibly limited exposure to the art form thus far, I personally do not generally "get" dance.

For the record, there are lots of other things I don't really "get" -- standard rep opera. Most 19th century literature (with a few notable exceptions -- Twain, Dostoyevsky...). Most European painting prior to 1900 or so. Perhaps you have your own list of consensus "Great Works" that don't particularly ring your cherries.

I thought it was important to make the disclaimer I made, so that readers can filter my comments, both negative and positive, through that lens -- and like I said, the performance by Noche Flamenca was one of the most impressive performances I've ever seen, in any art form. That, I "got" -- or at least, I "got" it to the best of my ability.

And I would certainly be grateful if you were to suggest some choreographers, troupes, etc. in town that you think would hit my aesthetic sweet spot. I'm always up for trying out new things.

Chris Becker
7.

I'd be more interested in hearing you talk about art you didn't "get" at one point in your life but that you now appreciate and can't imagine being without. Maybe it's my age, but I just don't react that way to art - "I don't get it..." I'm actually drawn toward stuff that I don't completely understand...

Check out 80% of Love at http://www.rindfleischdance.com/content/events.html#. Even if you don't "get" Murakami. This performance will use live music - Elke's work is very intense. Maybe you'll dig it...Take care. CB

DJA
8.

I'd be more interested in hearing you talk about art you didn't "get" at one point in your life but that you now appreciate and can't imagine being without.

That would be just about everything. It would be actually be easier to name the stuff that I flipped for at the first encounter -- that's a much, much smaller set.

Maybe it's my age, but I just don't react that way to art - "I don't get it..."

Chris, surely you have aesthetic preferences of some kind, so that some things seem more interesting than others to you.

I'm actually drawn toward stuff that I don't completely understand...

Sure, but there has to be some glimmer of interest in there, some promise that when its mysteries are revealed, those mysteries will mean something to me.

And there is no doubt a ton of great stuff out there that will never speak to me -- not because of any intrinsic flaw in the work, but because it just doesn't happen to coincide with what I think is important in art, and... well, life is short.

I do try to do a gut-check every so often, going back to stuff by, say, Milton Babbitt, or Rossini, or Leonard Cohen, to see if I've warmed to it any. But so long as I feel I'm making a good-faith effort to appreciate everything on its own terms, I don't feel it's my responsibility to love everything under the sun.

DJA
9.

PS Thanks for the recommendation. I'll try to check it out, if I can.

me
10.

Speaking of tap, I'd assume that you're familiar with the Nicholas Brothers, but if not there's some amazing stuff on youtube. They were the probably the greatest of them all.

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