Joined by electric violinist Zachary Carrettin and Marcia Schirmer on prepared piano, musicians and dancers juxtapose and integrate Bach’s music with the mystical interludes of American composer John Cage. Choreographer Katie Elliott explores the many processes and structures behind the music through extensive collaboration with artistic co-director Jim LaVita, Carrettin and Schirmer; improvisation and the elusive written text merge to become one.
Musically, the evening’s structural elements innovatively blend selected movements drawn from several Bach Suites with appropriate movements from John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano. In transitional moments, Carrettin bridges these seemingly disparate sounds with improvisational moments that mingle with Schirmer’s play on the prepared piano. This evening organically blends classical music traditions and an avant-garde sensibility by exploring quiet similarities and divergent qualities of the two composers. Music, either Bach or Cage, is a non-verbal medium, relying on sonics to create emotion and meaning. With the company of 3rd Law dancers, Elliott and LaVita work to express those human qualities through movement. Using those sometimes surprising qualities in the music, drawing on some unexpected parallels such as a latent mathematical component and, not least, an affection for serendipity and chance, the choreography creates a whole from the turbulence of Bach against and with Cage.
This evening was presented by The Dairy Center for the Arts and in collaboration with Boulder Bach Festival.