Threaded Dances (2013)
for violin solo
Arabesque in Sunlight by Michiko Theurer
Threaded Dances was written for Michiko Theurer as part of a solo violin recital and art exhibit based on the idea of "dance refracted through the forms of music, poetry, and painting, and reconnected in the space of the performance." The recital featured Eugene Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 3 (“Ballade”), and selections from J.S. Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D minor.
The title of this program as well as the commissioned composition is a quote from a poem by W.H. Auden, to which Michi was drawn in part because of its shifting layers of time-- the casual flow of an immeasurable experience through the regular bars of poetic meter. In her gallery performance, she drew the framed moments of visual art into the space of musical time, and created a visual space that resonated in counterpoint with the musical performance.
Each piece on the program had roots in the idea of dance, and abstracts that idea into a form that is intrinsic to its own medium. The Bach Partitas for solo violin are created in the form of dance suites, but they push the boundaries of danceability through their deep engagement with the expressive capabilities of solo violin. Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 3 for solo violin takes its subtitle, “Ballade,” from a poetic form that was historically associated with dance (hence the etymological link with “ballet”) and is now primarily associated with poetic narrative; its music is at once a wordless oration and a virtuosic whirlwind of dance rhythms.
Threaded Dances was written in close dialogue with the creation of the sketches and paintings for the exhibit and features an extensive cadenza composed by the artist/violinist.
View the score: [PDF]View the video: Threaded Dances (premiere)