A video of the Debussy performance I raved about is now online, right here. This was Afternoon of a Faun, danced by student musicians from the University of Maryland, while they play the music from memory.
What moved me especially, as I watched the video, was the music. I should apologize for what I wrote in my earlier post. The playing, on the video, comes across far more touchingly than I said it did, even though I praised it. And the moments of not-quite-together playing I thought I heard near the start — where are they? Now I don’t hear them at all. And there are moments, more than a few, that seem breathtakingly beautiful. The students’ dancing seems to give them special commitment, and gives their phrasing special grace. And it all gets more poignant, more radiant, as it goes along.
The movement? Maybe the closeups make what happens on stage look less magical than it did onstage. It’s a standard problem of dance videos. How do you show closeups, and still keep the flow and shape of the choreography, which depends so much on seeing all the stage at once? There are gorgeous, flowing, haunting moments, but the achievement here might have come across better when I saw it onstage.
I’d be curious to know what others think. Watch the video, and post a comment. How did the performance come across to you?
So many thanks to Sue Heineman, who posted a comment, telling us the video was online, and giving the link.