Berkeley Symphony has the final concert of its Symphonic Series tonight, a program in which they’ll be joined by performers from ODC/Dance. Guest conductor Christian Reif says they’ll be dancing to a piece by Anna Clyne, as well as a suite from Thomas Ades’s opera, Powder Her Face. The other works on the program continue that operatic and dancing theme.
There’s more information about tonight’s performance at the Berkeley Symphony website.
The work by Anna Clyne called This Midnight Hour was the impetus for the concert, because she’s composer in residence through their Music Alive program. Christian Reif says: “When Rene Mandel, the Executive Director of Berkeley Symphony asked me to conduct this week, he said, ‘We envisioned a collaboration with ODC Dance Company,’ and I was thrilled. They’re fantastic, and I love collaborations like that.” Choreographer K.T. Nelson has been working with dancers, who will be performing between Reif and the audience. The Clyne work is inspired by two poems, one by Baudelaire, which speaks of a melancholy waltz, and the other, a very short piece by Juan Ramon Jimenez, which Reif sums up this way: “‘A woman running nude in the night, mad.’ So it’s very evocative of movement.” The Ades suite includes a nostalgic tango that’s slightly off-kilter. “The obvious thread throughout the program is dance… Bizet’s Carmen Suite Number 1, with Spanish dances, and then the Tom Ades, then Anna Clyne’s piece, and then Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier Suite, which features the Viennese waltz very very prominently…One other thread is powerful women, especially the first half. These women, both Carmen and the Dutchess (the heroine of Powder Her Face) they’re very comfortable with their sexuality, and they know who they are.”