Saturday, November 24, 2012

Vivaldi and Contra

This entry is about two entirely different subjects. I'll start with the negative one and end with the positive :)

On the way home from a contra dance yesterday I was listening to the classical radio station (which is what I do whenever I'm in the car), when the MC said they were going to play a Season by Vivaldi, but not in the typical way. This version of Summer was played on the harp with a fine orchestra, although I forget which one. Now, I'm all open to new ideas and version of all sorts of music so I was anxious and excited to hear this harp rendition of Summer. Unfortunately, it didn't take much time before my open ears wanted to close. The harp just couldn't power over the orchestra (not the orchestras' fault) and couldn't deliver the mood changes Summer needs. The harpist had done the transcription herself and I applaud her for the technicality that it definitely sounded like it required, but the musicality just couldn't compare. The harp just couldn't get the 'languor of the summer heat' in my opinion, or maybe the harp version just enjoys that heat. The second movement was played by the concertmaster because, I assume, the harp can't sustain notes. Disappointment. And then the third movement missed the anger of the violent storm to which the harp sounds pleasant and cheerful, if not jovial. Ach!

Before the extremely interesting rendition of Summer by Vivaldi, I attended my first Nashville contra dance.
I've never seen so many young people at a dance. Honestly, I felt like I was lumped into the older crowd and that we were in the minority. Now if you contra dance, you'll know what I mean when I say that was really really really really, yes, really weird. I have never ever ever ever ever, nope, never felt like I was in the older crowd at a contra dance. Think again? Nope, never.

But at this dance there were many youngsters, I'm guessing junior high through early college years. And yes, there were the older folks (like me lol), that you usually see at a dance but overwhelmed by the youngsters.

So I engaged in some tom foolery and taught some of the youngsters some funky moves and livened the place. Of course, the young kids thought what I did was awesome and went right along, though I got a few stiff looks from the older crowd....   I had fun though. Teaching them how to stray outside the lines, mess with the moves, and just have FUN was a great pleasure. I revel in the feedback of the kids that thank me for being so much fun and teaching them moves and bringing energy and liveliness to the dance.

Oh the joys of contra :)