The sound of music: new CDs for dance class.
The best accompaniment for any dance class is live accompaniment. Apart from the sheer power of live music, with its dynamics and overtones, having a real pianist--or drummer or cellist--trains dancers to listen more closely and to react spontaneously. And students benefit from the intuitive chemistry that can develop between teacher and musician.
However, crises do occur, whether personal or financial. Back in 1972 in Saratoga Springs, Watson's record (on vinyl) had just come out and was inspirational on its own. Nothing currently available reminds me of that music, but here are some recommendations for those moments when it's up to you and your CD player to teach class.
Ballet Music for Barre and Center floor
Directed and supervised by David Howard. Pianist: Alla Reznik
31 mins. $29.95. www.roperrecords.com
This is a great recording of a brilliant pianist. Choice selections (Borodin, Czerny, Mendelssohn, etc., as well as original improvisations) are delivered with plenty of romantic phrasing and dynamics. Reznik is an obvious first call for ballet class, and if she's already booked, this CD provides a good body double.
Alla Reznik Plays Variations from Famous Classical Ballets, Advanced
31 mins. $29.95. www.roperrecords.com
Specific classical variations (from Giselle, Swan Lake, Raymonda, etc.) featuring Ms. Reznik's innate musicality.
Ballet Class Music (Vol. 4): Lament Choukroun
No time listed. $30. www.danceclassmusic.com
Originally the repetiteur of ballet classes at l'Opera de Paris, Choukroun now trains pianists who accompany ballet class. This is just one in a series of CDs providing hours of original music with a French flair.
Behind Barres, Vol. VI
By Request with Judy Rice & Paul Lewis
64 mins. $30. www.behindbarres.com
This CD features piano arrangements of tunes by Berlin, Gershwin, Arlen, and Leroy Anderson as well as one of my all-time favorite waltzes, "The Carousel Waltz," by Richard Rodgers.
Celebration: Music for Ballet Class
David Howard & Tim Grundmann
48 mins. $30. www.bodarc.com
Great energy in these solo piano tracks, many of which are credited to the pianist.
Finis Jhung & Scott Killian: New Ballet Music to "Special Places"
Ballet Dynamics, Inc.
73 mins. $24. wwv.finisjhung.com
If you're looking to take a break from traditional piano accompaniment, this imaginative CD, with its digital orchestrations (synth horns, bells, strings, and more) might fit your bill, as would others in the series.
Joyful Noise Discs One & Two
70 mins. $15 each. www.andymonroe.com
Monroe's experience playing for classes at the schools of Paul Taylor, Alvin Alley, and Jose Limon provides the background for these colorful recordings designed with a modern class in mind. His discs include a variety of rhythms, phrase lengths, and textures, using piano, and percussion.
Open Class! and Master Class!
Music for the Intermediate/Advanced Ballet Lesson. Directed and produced by Charles Flachs; Pianist: Susanne Anderson
60 minutes and 62 minutes. $28 each. www.musicforballet.com
Lovely musical choices, mixing traditional repertoire (Offenbach, Tchaikovsky) with not so traditional selections from Granados, Joplin, and Sousa.
Something Different: Contemporary Dance Music Vol. 1
47 mins. $21.99. www.musicfordance.com
Eleven cinematic tracks from a composer from the United Kingdom, orchestrating his piano solos with contemporary sounds and textures heard in today's film scores.
A Trip to Italy: Melodies of Italy Arranged for Ballet Class
Pianist: Steven V. Mitchell; violinist: Joyce Hammann
44 min. $25. www.danceables.com
A terrific pianist, plus a sublime violinist, offer a deliciously Italian menu, from Verdi to "Mambo Italiano" to "That's Amore" and beyond.
BALLET FOR CHILDREN:
Fun Favorites Pre-Ballet
E. Laura Hausmann & Nathan Fifield
74 min. $29.95. bobrizzo.com
Tuneful spirited melodies ("Yellow Rose of Texas," "Home on the Range") as well as Joplin and Chopin.
Introduction to Ballet & Character
Gayle Corkery & Whit Kellogg
64 mins. $30. www.bodarc.com
Colorful selections from around the world ("The Hall of the Mountain King," "O Canada") with the miraculous sound of piano four hands. (How can there be so many notes?)
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Title Annotation:||DANCE MAGAZINE RECOMMENDS|
|Article Type:||Sound recording review|
|Date:||Feb 1, 2006|
|Next Article:||Flight lessons: as aerial dance soars in popularity, practitioners begin laying down a curriculum for training in the form.|