In general, I have not been a fan of mixing dancing with Cascadia concerts. The dancing never really melded with the music for me, and/or the execution looked flabby. However, newcomer Jonalyn Salzano’s choreography and dancing in a Cascadia February show, Dianne Davies’s Attachments and Detachments changed my mind. Salzano gave weighty but not pedantic meaning to Jeff Winslow’sGhosts and Machines as filtered through Davies’s grief over the death of her idolized older sister. And the sharpness of Salzano’s struck poses and crisp, fluid moves created a mixed media production that provoked audible gasps in the audience.
We grapple with these issues in my own groups, and sometimes we’ve had to look outside for magic. For instance in a recent concert by my band, the Mousai, Dianne Davies salvaged what would have been a meh straightforward playing of Dan Schlosberg’s riotous first movement of Two Remarks by suggesting, then coaching, then INSISTING the comic theatrics she injected for that movement, STAY, turning it into the screaming, impolite hit it deserved to become.
Katie Taylor, Dan Brugh, Mike Hsu, Dianne Davies. You want Magic? Here are a few magicians with experience producing Magic on stage.
Portland pianist and teacher Maria Choban is ArtsWatch’s Oregon Arts Bitch.
Chamber Music Northwest review: Comedy in Context (review by Dianne Davies)
Igudesman & Joo preview: Classics meet comics (review by Dianne Davies)
Classically Funny (review of Dianne Davies)