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Good Morning, Mr. Gershwin Teachers’ Notes
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At a Glance
Production Credits
A Dialogue Across Eras
List of Songs
Links
At a Glance
Visionary dance choreographers José Montalvo and Dominique Hervieu pay the ultimate tribute to
American composer George Gershwin in this exhilarating performance. Fusing hip-hop, tap-dance
and contemporary dance against a backdrop of immense and emotive video imagery, the cast take
an exuberant frolic through some of Gershwin's most popular hits such as Summertime and It Ain't
Necessarily So. The second part of the performance draws upon the stirring music of Gershwin's
most controversial opera, Porgy and Bess.
Production Credits
Choreography Jose Montalvo and Dominique Hervieu
Staging and video design Jose Montalvo
Costumes Dominique Hervieu assistedby Siegrid Petit-Imbert
Music George Gershwin
Sound creation Catherine Lagarde
Clarinet solo Renaud Pion
Lighting Vincent Paoli
Created with and interpreted by Mansour Abdessadok, Arthur Benhamou, Marie-Priska Caillet, Katia
Charmeaux, Emeline Colonna, Clarisse Doukpe, Nicolas Fayol, Blaise Kouakou, Melanie Lomoff,
Christelle Nazarin, Sabine Novel, P.Lock, Karla Pollux, Alex Tuy dit Rotha
Artistic assistant Vincent Rafis
Video assistant Pascal Minet and Etienne Aussel
Graphics Franck Chastanier, Sylvain Decay, Amel El Kamel, Clio Giovagni, Michel Jaen Montalvo,
Valerie Toumayan
Choreographic assistant Joelle Iffrig
Chief project Yves Favier
Co-production Theatre National de Chaillot, Centre Choregraphique National de Creteil et du Val-deMarne/ Compagnie Montalvo-Hervieu, Le Grand Theatre de Luxembourg, La Biennale de la Danse de
Lyon, Le Theatre National de Bretagne, Het Musiktheater – Amsterdam, MC2 –Grenoble, La Maison
des Arts de Creteil, Le Theatre -Scene Nationale de Narbonne, L’Espace Jean Legendre – Theatre de
Compiegne.
With the kind authorisation of the Lyon Opera House for the use of elements of the Porgy and Bess
production-Lyon 2008
A Dialogue Across Eras
By Vincent Rafis
“What luck to be twenty in the Twenties in New York,”
enthused Ernest Hemingway, a great admirer of George Gershwin.
Those were the Gershwin years – he was the new American musical genius. New York, the symbol of
the American cityscape, provides the inspiration for George Gershwin’s urban art. The effervescence
of modernisation, of industrialisation, of speed becomes the rhythm of his music. The city’s
continual transformations will have a profound influence on his work, especially the buildings that
are starting to rise ever higher into the sky above the city in a rush, as he puts it, of “emotion and
reason”. The collaboration between Montalvo-Hervieu and Gershwin initiates a dialogue between a
virtuoso artist who charmed America with his music and gave it its tempo, and a production
that brings in the rhythms and aesthetics of the 21st century. The choreographers pay tribute to a
free-thinking and cultivated Gershwin who was knowledgeable about the great European
avant-garde movements and who incorporated, transformed, “gershwinised” everything he heard.
Borrowing from a variety of different disciplines, making cunning use of the classical repertoire,
remixing, redistributing, pasting and “plugging”, Gershwin’s work wove a tight fabric out of a huge
number of references – jazz and its arias, Debussy and gospel, African songs and the Jewish
liturgy…Thus it’s only a short step from the syncretic art of George Gershwin to Montalvo-Hervieu’s
art of blending: a step outside any normative theory of art, a step towards a multiplication of
possibilities and towards everything that increases our sense of being alive. Finally, George Gershwin
believed in the virtues of art that was light but profound, virtuoso but challenging, bright but also
complex. From the very beginning of his career, he talked about the mission of popular art and took
part in some of the first ever taped recordings and the first radiophonic broadcasts. Jose Montalvo
and Dominique Hervieu draw on the sources of American entertainment – the Broadway musicals
and Hollywood movies of the thirties, constantly crossing over between major and minor forms of
art, between high culture and traditions, and continuously reinventing the established hierarchies of
registers and discourses. To make this permeability between registers of dance and music
perceptible, the soundtrack to the production will alternate the composer’s songs with “serious
music”, giving great prominence to live song, slam poetry, tap-dancing and percussion music from
the “Shim Shams” at the Savoy. There are therefore many veiled references to the Roaring
Twenties in an all-musical, all-dancing show that nothing can interrupt. Gershwin already
understood this almost a century ago: there are certain shows that set the imagination ticking and
help us dream of the world we would like to live in, because they allow our perception of things to
shift and bestow our eyes with a benevolent intelligence.
List of Songs in the Production
1. Embraceable you Clifford Brown and Strings
2. Soon (modifié) Artie Shaw
3. Rialto Ripples, rag Fazil Say
4. Strike up the band Ella Fitzgerald/Nelson Riddle
5. I got rhythm (modifié) George Gershwin Code
6. Suite from Girl crazy Arthur Fiedler
7. Soon Dorothy Kirsten
8. Let’s call the whole thing off Fred Astaire
9. Merry Andrew Fazil Say
10. I got rhythm Oscar Peterson
11. Soon Dorothy Kirsten
12. An American in Paris Orch. De Cleveland/Lorin Maazel
13. The man I love Lena Horne
14. Embraceable you Billie Holiday
15. Rhapsodie Elephant George Gershwin/Arrangement Renaud Pion et Catherine Lagarde
16. Summertime Glyndebourne Chorus – London Philarmonic Orchestra/Simon Rattle
17. Summertime Fazil Say
18. Rubato Fazil Say
19. Préludes 1 Fazil Say
20. Blue Lullaby Fazil Say
21. Spanish Prelude Fazil Say
22. Interlude chèvre création sonore Renaud Pion/ Catherine Lagarde
23. Introduction Glyndebourne Chorus – London Philarmonic Orchestra/Simon Rattle
24. Autour de Porgy creation sonore Renaud Pion/Catherine Lagarde 0’10
25. Summertime Glyndebourne Chorus – London Philarmonic Orchestra/Simon Rattle
26. Summertime George Gershwin/Arrangement Renaud Pion et Catherine Lagarde
27. Introduction Glyndebourne Chorus – London Philarmonic Orchestra/Simon Rattle
28. La tempête creation sonore Renaud Pion/Catherine Lagarde
29. Oh Doctor Jesus Glyndebourne Chorus – London Philarmonic Orchestra/Simon Rattle
30. La vague creation sonore Renaud Pion/Catherine Lagarde
31. Oh dere’s somebody knockin’ at the do’ Glyndebourne Chorus – London Philarmonic
Orchestra/Simon Rattle
32. Clara, Clara don’t you be downhearted Glyndebourne Chorus – London Philarmonic
Orchestra/Simon Rattle
33. Introduction Glyndebourne Chorus – London Philarmonic Orchestra/Simon Rattle
34. Good Mornin’ sistuh’ Glyndebourne Chorus – London Philarmonic Orchestra/Simon Rattle
35. Good Mornin’ sistuh’ Glyndebourne Chorus – London Philarmonic Orchestra/Simon Rattle
36. A Red headed woman make a choo-choo jump its track Glyndebourne Chorus – London
Philarmonic Orchestra/Simon Rattle
37. Oh Lawd, I’m on my way Glyndebourne Chorus – London Philarmonic Orchestra/Simon Rattle
38. Finale Ultimo John Mauceri
Links
Montalvo-Hervieu
http://www.montalvo-hervieu.com/
George and Ira Gershwin
http://www.gershwin.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gershwin
Porgy and Bess
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porgy_and_Bess
Good Morning, Mr. Gershwin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-WaXiWcbsQ&feature=related
Hurricane Katrina
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_Hurricane_Katrina_in_New_Orleans