I recently attended a performance of the New York Theatre Ballet entitled Legends & Visionaries. It took place at the cool little theater of New York Live Arts on 19th Street in Manhattan (newyorklivearts.org). The dance performance included a work by Philip Glass entitled Etudes for Piano, nos. 1-10, arranged by Josh Quillen, the director of NYU Steel. The 11 students performing this challenging work were outstanding. Josh, who is a member of So Percussion, is a skilled pan player with a deep understanding of the style of this music and the instruments. The result was an amazing bath of psychoacoustical phenomena with tremendous clarity and richness. The music of Philip Glass is a perfect vehicle for the pan. The dancers were fantastic as well. The choreography tended to be more traditional than I had been used to for music associated with minimalism. Jonathan Haas is the director of the percussion studies program at NYU, which offers an eclectic assortment of percussion styles. This energetic group has been a part of several of the Drum Boogie Festivals (drumboogiefestival.com) that I produce, and is always an audience favorite.
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