(When did they go missing?)
An article by Marina Harss in the NY Times this week, Finding the Right Keys for the Right Ballet Steps, looks at the pianists’s role in ballet rehearsals and classes.
The musicians help the ballet dancers by finding the perfect tempos, improvising in ways that keep dancers alert, and occasionally providing helpful insights such as,“The music is in four, and you’re in three.”
Watching the dancers gives the musicians new insights, as well, and can “shape their musical understanding.” The last paragraph reads:
“I feel that the dancers are the music,” Joaquin Panisse, a young pianist who works with the Teatro Colón’s ballet company in Buenos Aires, said recently in a Skype conversation. “My interpretation mirrors their dancing. And because of that, somehow, the music begins to sound different to my ear.”
Yes. Imagine if this separation between music and dance weren’t there, or at least weren’t so impenetrably stark, in the first place. But since it is, why not invite musicians to translate music into movement of their own, and invite dancers to translate movement into sounds of their own?
Music and Dance are one thing, to me. The issue is that our western art forms have divided them to the point that the slightest “interdisciplinary” peek through the wall seems revelatory.
The real revelation: The wall doesn’t have to be there.