There’s toe-tapping. There’s waltzing. There’s the jive. There’s krumping. Hundreds of ways to dance, and the Central Kentucky Concert Band will be presenting just a few of them – no dance lessons required.
This fall, we’ve been working on dances from around the world, bringing some international flair to the Mitchell Fine Arts Center on December 2nd.
There’s something evocative about each song we’re playing, transporting the listener to another place or time, a glimpse into another world. Brian Balmages’ Arabian Dances allows a peek into the dance music and folk songs of another culture. The work is made up of two traditional Middle Eastern songs with an original theme moving through it, tying everything together. The first song featured is the folksong “Ala Dal’ona”, which can be roughly translated as “let’s go and help,” as good a message for the holiday season as it is for any time of year. “Tafta Hindi” is the second song, simple words about a traveling salesman with silks and taffeta to sell to pretty girls. Throughout it all is impressive percussion, giving the band the chance for a dance break as well – watch out for the head bobs and grooving on stage.
From the Middle East to Argentina, the CKCB will play the final movement from Alberto Ginastera’s ballet “Estancia,” Danza Final (Malambo). An estancia is a large cattle ranch on the pampas in Argentina, and Ginastera envisioned his ballet as a depiction of the busy activities on an estancia from one dawn to the next. A Malambo is a quick and vigorous Argentinean folk dance in which men compete to demonstrate their agility and machismo. The dance itself is a series of justas or competitive “anything you can do, I can do better” moments. The “winner” is the last man to remain standing. As “Estancia” revolves a love triangle, the Danza Final is a dance-off between the strong gaucho of the pampas and the untrained city boy, both of whom love the same woman on the ranch.
While we visit Russia and Scotland on our dance-themed sojourn as well, we play a few songs by home-grown composers, such as Incantation and Dance, composed by John Barnes Chance. This song is a journey all its own, with contrast between the incantation and dance sections of the piece. While it starts slowly, with an almost otherworldly eeriness, the dance begins to coalesce into a whirling dervish of noise that will no doubt bring the audience along for the ride.
Every song we’re playing this winter has a story, every melody has a dance, and we hope the taste of these three pieces will entice you to join us on December 2nd.