Sunday, November 06, 2005

24 Preludes of Chopin - Compagnie Marie Chouinard

I have to admit I am usually not a fan of modern dance; however, a dance titled "Preludes of Chopin" by Compagnie Marie Chouinard changed my view on modern dance completely. I got invited to see their performance in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say it is such an eye-opening experience. Without any prior knowledge to either the dance or its music by Chopin, I thought I wouldn't get much out of it, needless to say any appreciation. But soon after the performance started, I knew I was wrong, deadly wrong.

The dance and the music piece written by Chopin are closely coupled. The dance is choreographed so the dancers' movements are coherent with rhythm, tempo, and the emotion a particular prelude brings. The dancers would use their limbs and torsos mimicking music notes, end of meter, and triad when dancing in teams. It is such a wonderful experience as an audience, to see Chopin's music came to live, literally in the form of human bodies. There is one segment of the dance I like the most: a dancer would dance from one end of the stage to the middle, and as soon as she reached the center, two other dancers would come and drag her back to the end, where she would start the same dance again. This dance routine repeated three times, just like what a repeated section is in music theory. (Thank God! I took Music 101 in college.) It is such a creative method to express music details in the choreograph of the dance!

24 Preludes of Chopin. It is such a treat to the mind be able to enjoy Chopin's master piece, not only by hearing it, but more importantly by seeing it!

For more information, please visit their website at