Obstinate Peal

Premiered March 2014

A collaboration with Boulder Bach Festival music director/electric violinist Zachary Carrettin making the intersection of composition and improvisation visible.

Driven by the transcendent music of J.S. Bach, this evening is rife with dramatic moments created by the duel of sound and movement. Dancers and musician moved through time drawing the listener/viewer forward from the seventeenth century into the modern era through the choice of musical works including the Biber Passacaglia from the Mystery Sonatas, Bach’s Cello Suites and Chaconne, and two original works by Carrettin.

As a style, Baroque is defined by the use of complex forms, bold ornamentation, and the juxtaposition of contrasting elements. The word ‘baroque’ can also refer to a “rough, elaborate or imperfect pearl.” Adding ‘obstinate’ to our title creates another layer, one that emphasizes the rebellious qualities involved in bringing classical forms into contemporary realms, and improvising against the structure set by a strong musical bass line (a characteristic of baroque music). The space in between notes and the breath of a measure becomes flexible, determined by the live, in-the-moment, unspoken dialogue created uniquely each evening between Carrettin and the dancers. Just as the music is composed, the dance is choreographed, but inside that architecture is the inhalation and exhalation of live performance.

Some baroque pearls emerge from salt water and some from fresh but our guiding metaphor is an ‘obstinate’ pearl emerging from a brackish habitat in the middle, where something different grows—and is seen as perfect, exactly because of its beautiful imperfections.

This evening was presented by The Dairy Center for the Arts and marked the opening of the Inaugural Year for Boulder Arts Week.

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