U of Maryland Symphony dances Copland

Posted on: May 6, 2014

“We often say music is moving, without really thinking about what the word means. Our actual experience of classical music tends to be still,” writes Anne Midgette in Tuesday’s (5/6) Washington Post. On Sunday, “The University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra offered a literally moving performance. Playing Aaron Copland’s ‘Appalachian Spring’ from memory, the musicians stood, and walked, and swayed, and danced, and even lifted each other and their instruments…. This collaboration was the orchestra’s second in this direction with the MacArthur Award-winning choreographer Liz Lerman, two years after a memorable ‘Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.’ Lerman specializes in working with non-dancers…. You might not mistake [the performance], with your eyes closed, for a professional recording. But it was no less powerful. Freeing players from an orchestra’s faceless mass, having them move … creates an entirely different awareness of orchestra members as individuals.… Once the players become active participants, the audience does, too, almost by default.… At the end of the piece, the players walked to the foot of the stage and laid their instruments down, one by one, in a kind of surrender to the silence, or an offering to their listeners. The gesture felt like an act of tribute, and the audience responded with a roar of applause.”

Posted May 6, 2014