Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

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Johann Sesbastian BACH (1685 - 1750)
Moon Water - Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan

Suites for ’cello (1720) (excerpts): #1, Sarabande; #2, Sarabande; #3, Sarabande;
#4, Prelude; #5, Prelude, Sarabande, Allemande; #6 Allemande. [65.00]
Mischa Maisky, ’cello, [from Deutsche Grammophon DG 445373-2]
Choreography by Lin Hwai-Min. Setting by Austin Wang.
RM Associates/LGM/BR/DRS/
MEZZO, La Chaîne Musique, Opéra, Danse/ORF/YLE co-production.
Behind the scenes documentary [20.00] in English.
German, French, Spanish subtitles.
Menu languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Chinese.
PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.0, DTS 5.0. PAL 16:9 DVD 5 Region 1-5, 7-8
RM Associates
ARTHAUS/Musik 100 374 DVD [85.00]


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Lin Hwai-Min speaks excellent English — no surprise since he has an advanced degree from the University of Iowa — and he admits he is influenced by Martha Graham. But he points out that Martha Graham was influenced by oriental theatre, so the circle closes. Tai Chi is a Chinese physical/mental meditation practice consisting of a sequence of physical movements which exercise every muscle in the body; many Chinese perform it in the early morning, often in large groups in the park, as their equivalent of a sort of wake-up two mile jog. But the movements, which may be 5,000 years old, can be viewed as a kind of dance, and that is what we get here, 65 minutes of it performed to the music of Bach played VEEEEEERY SLOOOOOOWLY. Maisky’s performance is hardly authentic Baroque practice; it is in itself a kind of meditation, so it fits in, amazingly well, with the Chinese dancing.

This is not martial arts or The Matrix. Nobody flies through the air. Except for a few moments of vigorous duet there is no combativeness among the dancers. The set is a blue surface with white tracings reminding one of the frozen surface of a pond, as in the "Waltz of the Flowers" sequence in Fantasia. Some of the numbers are solos, others duets, some full ensembles. Everybody wears flouncy sheer white pantaloons, the boys shirtless, the girls with a flesh-coloured halter. At the end there is real water on the surface and they slide and splash. For some of the numbers mirrors appear above reflecting the dancers’ movements, but rippled, as if from floating water surfaces. The colors are blue, white, and pale flesh, emerging out of black.

For review purposes naturally I played the disk right through from the beginning, but I think it would make more sense to watch just one sequence each day.

Paul Shoemaker

 



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