Dances of Love a joint choral concert with Voices West, and ballroom dance performance by Adventures Dance from Littleton.
Last Year Michael Todd approached me in regards to producing a joint choral and ballroom show with Voices West. I thought it was a great idea and accepted his invitation. We kept in touch periodically. When Michael Todd picked the music then I got to work putting the dances together, rehearsing dancers, and making costumes.
The first set was Nue Lieversliedre Walzer, Op. 65 (New Love song Waltzes) by Johannes Brahms movements 1-15. It was a challenge coming up with different waltzes for the 7 songs we danced to. It was like trying to find a way to sing the same song 7 different ways. Fortunately there were two slow waltzes among the Viennese Waltzes and one Grand March. I was happy with the challenge and the results.
The next set was Lieversliedre Polkas P.D.Q Bach. These were tongue in cheek polkas written by Julliard professor Peter Schickele under the pen name P.D.Q. Bach. For these I drew on traditional polkas and some non-traditional moves to reflect the tongue in cheek nature of the music. On the song to Celia, we took pieces of a minuet and integrated the contemporary electric slide. In Farewell ungrateful Traitor we used a classic princess polka and accented the word pain by stepping on each other’s feet, and choking each other at the end. On who is Silvia we drew on period polka moves and added some patty cake hands and train movement. We had a good time working on these pieces.
After the intermission we took off our ties and loosened our collars for the Latin set. We started with, ”Cheek to Cheek ( A nocturnal Tango)” by Gwyneth Walker. We began back to back ( cheeks touching), and dancing an Argentine Tango to this short number. Craig and I stayed on the floor for the next number, Save the last dance for me by Pomus/Sherman. This was a lively American Rumba, and we had a lovely time dancing to it. Last was the Blue Tango by Leroy Anderson. I had the opportunity to have fun with Bill and Robyn. We started with their American rumba, moves into new variations just for this number, and finished with their international Tango. Three types of Tango in one song.
The Last set was big band, blues and operetta. They kicked off with Cheek to Cheek by Irving Berlin. Robyn and Bill took to the floor with spin off foxtrot and swing moves from Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Next a bluesy number Don’t get around much anymore by Duke Ellington. Craig and I took advantage of this slow number to weave open American smooth foxtrot with international slow foxtrot to get around the floor. We stepped it up with T’aint what ‘cha do by Young/Oliver. I asked Todd to bring the tempo up to an international Quickstep. Craig and I then tripped the light fantastic with our open international quickstep sprinkled with some Charleston. In closing we moved to Operetta with The Finale from the Gondoliers by Gilbert and Sullivan. I put the whole troop on the floor for this rousing Viennese waltz. We used portions of classic minuets, and wove some American Viennese waltz into the middle. I am proud of how all my dancers did, and thrilled that we had the opportunity to perform with Voices West. I hope to do it again soon.
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