Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Inside Look: Euphoria

We know it's a little overdue, but Happy New Year! While we had a great break, we're excited to be back in the swing of things with all things blog and ASO.
The final countdown has begun for "Euphoria" being presented in partnership with BosmaDance and Alexandria Performing Arts Asssociation. On Saturday, February 9 at 8pm and Sunday, February 10 at 3pm, indulge in the lushness of interwoven strings and dancers at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center (Alexandria).

But what exactly is "Euphoria?" The program is one which traverses both time and place.

The music will take concertgoers full circle from the Renaissance to the Baroque to the Contemporary, which reflects back on these earlier influences. The program begins with one of J.S. Bach’s masterpieces, the Double Violin Concerto, featuring ASO Concertmaster Claudia Chudacoff and 2006 Mary Graham Lasley Scholarship winner, Najin Kim. The concert then progresses into the lighthearted dance of Johann Strauss’ Pizzicato Polka and takes a step back to the Renaissance with Giovanni Gabrieli’s Canzona.
"Euphoria” is rounded out by two contemporary composers, each of whom was invariably influenced by the Baroque. Fantasia concertante on a theme of Corelli by Michael Tippet was written in 1953 for the tercentenary of the birth of Arcangelo Corelli, a Baroque composer. Drawing influence from another master, Villa-Lobos wrote the Bachianas brasilieras #5, Aria to pay homage to Bach and to the music of his native Brazil.

As for the choreography, it will take you around the world as Artistic Director Meisha Bosma was inspired by a recent trip to India to create dances that "delicately thread intimate gestures, sweeping movements and evocative imagery, penetrating the startling extremes of India."

According to BosmaDance:

"'Euphoria' captures the emotions of a stranger in a foreign land. Traveling between India’s densely populated cities to the haunting reality of native village life and refugee camps, Bosma explores how this life-changing journey tested her patience and strengthened her will to cope with life-threatening situations; a severe case of malaria, an uncertain run-in with the Naxalite rebels, emotional days spent with refugees, and the forbidden act of forgetting toilet paper on a long bus ride. “When people ask ‘How was India?’ – I cannot answer with words, instead I tell people to attend the performance of 'Euphoria,' because India is best explained using vibrant color, dance, and music in its most expressive form,” Bosma says.

While working in the studio to create 'Euphoria,' Bosma reaches beyond her all-female company to include the masculine energy of male dancers for the first time. “It is impossible to imagine 'Euphoria' without the inclusion of male dancers because the dynamic among men and women plays a powerful role in defining what India was in the past and what it is today.” 'Euphoria' explores the balance between fantasy and reality, male and female, life and death, chaos and calm and invites the audience to fill in the gaps with their own experiences, emotions and interpretations."

That's it for our inside look at "Euphoria!" We hope to see you in February.

Don't forget our $5 youth tickets (ages 8-18) at our Sunday matinees!

To purchase tickets, please visit http://www.alexsym.org/ or call 703-548-0885.