Celebrations & Ode

Performed April 2001 by Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley

  Click on a small image to view page for the ballet.
Celebrations Photo page
Ode Photo page
Choreography: Dennis Nahat;   Music: Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphonies No 7 and 9

A Program Note (by Dennis Nahat):   Mankind is a celebrating animal. His time is filled with moments of public jubilation and quiet personal joy. Festivity is everywhere, springing from the importance of special events -- anniversaries, births, holy days, passages of all sorts. One celebrates when one feels fulfillment, when one lives completely.

Ludvig van Beethoven's Seventh [Celebrations] and Ninth [Ode] Symphonies are among music's most life-affirming works. Dance can take us on a further exploration into this music; indeed Richard Wagner described Symphony No. 7 as "the apotheosis of the dance." Like the work of all great creative artists, Beethoven's music surely reflects the inner movement of his own heartbeat. His spirit must have been dancing has he composed. And, if one is a dancer, how could one not dance to music of such transport, humor and unearthly beauty? The movements of Beethoven's Seventh and Ninth Symphonies are, as Shankara said, "like a chain of pearls." The final movement of the Ninth, especially -- An die Freude or Ode to Joy -- is the ultimate in musical celebration. Joy was to Beethoven what charity was to Saint Paul: "the one thing without which all else is incomplete."

Photo images copyright © 2001 Bob Shomler. Please see the Copyright page.

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