Movement and Music – The Terps’ Symph Orch string and dance on YouTube

University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra – Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

Originated by Director of Orchestral Activities, James Ross; Movement choreographed by famed dancer, Liz Lerman

Published May 10, 2012 by TerpsMusic

On May 4, 2012, the UMD Symphony Orchestra (UMSO) performed Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” from memory, with movement design by choreographer Liz Lerman.

Movement is an inherent element of music-making; yet, its impact goes largely unexplored in the orchestral setting. UMSO’s performance of “Prelude to the Afternoon of the Faun” explores the connection between movement and music, specifically, how that connection facilitates communication and a colorful, nuanced performance.

The choreography in this performance reflects the moods and imagery associated with Debussy’s work: the sensory experiences of a faun as he awakens from an afternoon nap.

Do you think the movement detracts from or improves the symphony experience?  How did the choreography alter your perception of Debussy’s music?  Did the movement help tell the musical story for you?


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