Tuesday was a very interesting night. You get something of a hint of what it was like in the New York Times review of the event. More than anything it was a showcase for Lil'Buck. Somehow this young dancer hooked up with impresario Damian Woetzel who was linked up with Yo-Yo Ma, Cristina Pato and Marcus Printup who was linked up with Brooklyn Rider and Philip Glass….you get the idea of how it all happened.
The whole thing could have been a strange hodge-podge of things that didn't work together. However, as all participants were present with the singular idea of celebrating this young dancer and more or less introducing him to the New York hoi polloi. Theirs was a unity of purpose in not only what they all were doing, but also united through Lil' Buck's dancing.
There were two shows, one at 7pm and one at 10pm. Glass himself wasn't present for the first show but I attended both. There was more nervous energy and ecitement in the first show. The way Lil'Buck bends and contorts, I'm not sure how anyone over 20 could manage to do such things (he's 23). The music was very different but it all worked.
The new Glass piece called "Orbit for Solo Cello" is no small piece. At seven minutes long it's about the size of the big fifth movement of Songs & Poems. Ma played from memory and brought his incredible musicianship to the piece. It was as if 350 years of experience of cello playing, from Bach to present, went into every phrase. It's really something to witness if you ever have the chance. The show ended with a tutti performance of Colin Jacobsen's Ascending Bird played by the entire company. A good time was had by all.
On a personal note, I hadn't seen Ma since I was a lowly intern at the Boston Pops back in 2004. He was very nice to me backstage at the time. We conversed in French (he was born in Paris) and he even signed by Naqoyqatsi CD. It was nice to see him again.
1 thought on ““Orbit” played by Yo-Yo Ma at LPR”
It must have been a great concert! I hope there will be a recording of the work.