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Wednesday, November 21 • 09:30 - 10:00
Slow Dancing: Poetry and Bach

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Slow Dancing: Poetry and Bach
Christine Rutledge, Professor of Viola, University of Iowa

For over 40 years I have been fascinated, almost obsessed, with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, a composer who died almost 300 years ago. His music was so great that it transcends any notion that it was written in a style that died and was replaced by something newer, more modern, or “better.” I suppose that is the case with any great art, and is why it is considered “great.”

I regularly perform Bach’s music, especially his solo cello suites and solo violin works, and have done extensive research on the solo cello and violin works. This research has contributed greatly to my interpretations. But my performances have been presented quite traditionally. Now I am ready to take Bach’s music into a more abstract place, one that can reach listeners in more immediate and visceral ways, ways that will inspire them to think about Bach and music differently.

This approach to performance is part of my quest to take “classical” music out of the blue-haired realm in a truly meaningful way – not by pandering or “dumbing-it-down,” which I believe only makes the problems of elitism in classical music worse. Many musicians are now considering similar approaches in their programming, and it is about time!

"Slow Dancing" is a collaborative, interactive performance that intersperses slow dance movements by Bach with newly written poetry or words that are inspired by the music and the composer– the sound, the tonal colors, the visual aspect of the music itself, the textures, Bach’s life, or any aspect of the music or composer that inspires the writer. There are really no boundaries; the music itself has enough of those.

I have commissioned poets in the Detroit (Michigan) area, which has a thriving poetry community as well as being my hometown. The program will be performed in the fall of 2018 in Detroit with all of the poets reading their poems. For the Congress performance I plan on reciting the poetry myself, but may have a reader.

The program, though, is intended to be flexible and “portable,” and can be performed in many different ways. Examples could be: have a reader recite the poetry; have school children read the poetry; perform in prisons and youth centers; pretty much anything that could make the experience meaningful and reach people from diverse and unexpected backgrounds.

Excerpts from the following Bach music are considered :

• From the 6 Suites for Solo Cello
    o Sarabande from Suite No. 2
    o Sarabande from Suite No. 3
    o Sarabande and Allemande from Suite No. 6
• From the Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin
    o Sarabanda from Partita No. 2
    o Loure from Partita No. 3
    o Siciliana from Sonata No. 1
• From the Suite for Solo Flute
    o Sarabande

avatar for Christine Rutledge

Christine Rutledge

Professor of Viola, University of Iowa School of Music (USA)
Christine Rutledge is a violist of varied talents and interests. She began her life-long love of viola in the 3rd grade in the Detroit Public Schools and had the great fortune of studying with several of the world’s greatest teachers, including Karen Tuttle, Michael Tree, William... Read More →
avatar for Daphne Gerling

Daphne Gerling

University of North Texas (USA)
Violist Daphne Gerling was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to a musical family. She enjoys a versatile career as a teacher, chamber musician, recitalist, and soloist performing on both modern and baroque viola in leading venues across the U.S., Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, England... Read More →

Wednesday November 21, 2018 09:30 - 10:00 CET
Hofplein Rotterdam, Main Theatre Benthemstraat 13, 3032 CC Rotterdam, Netherlands

Attendees (7)