Dance and love at heart of Music for Galway season

Daria Van Der Bercken who will perform a concert, The Piano has been Dancing on November 21.
Daria Van Der Bercken who will perform a concert, The Piano has been Dancing on November 21.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Let’s Dance! is the theme of Music for Galway’s (MFG) new concert series and the programme was launched this week with an event that, appropriately enough, featured dance.

“Music and dance have a cross-genre connection,” remarks Artistic Director of Music for Galway, Finghin Collins, adding that “there are a lot of different forms of music and dance”.

Proof of this comes in This is an Irish Dance, at the City’s Black Box Theatre on September 29. Choreographed by Jean Butler of Riverdance, it will be performed by her, while the music has been composed and will be performed by cellist Neil Martin.

“It’s not like Irish dancing, not like Riverdance, it’s “a more contemporary and abstract piece,” explains Finghin. “It plays with the idea of what is tradition and what is not and is quite abstract and improvisatory both in the music and the dance.

The coming season will seee lots of collaborations between MFG and other arts organisations including Cúirt, the Galway Dance Project, Galway Tango and The Early Music Festival.

Central to the programme is young Cork composer Sam Perkin, whose music and choreography were featured at this week’s launch.  Galway dancer Stephanie du Fresne, in association with Galway Dance Project, performed Nesting Doll, accompanied by Finghin on piano at the event in the City’s Portershed.

Sam will feature again on November 8 when ConTempo will perform dance music by Mozart, Beethoven, Piazzolla, Bartók and by Sam. That concert is at St Joseph’s Church, Presentation Road.

And the world premiere of a new work by Sam will be performed on February 4 by pianist Nathalia Milstein. Commissioned by Music for Galway, this suite of dances will be part of a programme that includes work by Debussy, Schumann, Beethoven and Mussorgsky, from Milstein and fellow pianist Juan Pérez Floristan.

Before that, on October 25, there’s an invitation an ‘unofficial Galway Day of Dance and Music’, celebrating jazz and tango, with an opportunity to try tango-dancing.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.