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Familiar Tunes

This collection of dances incorporates well-known bits of music – sometimes in surprising ways.

8 performances

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Familiar Tunes

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The Hong Kong Ballet

Castrati, 2014

Most people associate this music by contemporary Welsh composer Karl Jenkins with television commercials for diamonds – so much so that the composer later titled the album containing it Diamond Music. Choreographer Nacho Duato had something much more sinister on his mind when creating this powerful work known as Castrati.

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Playing 1 of 8

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Pacific Northwest Ballet

TAKE FIVE...More or Less, 2014

Dave Brubeck’s rendition of “Take Five” is a classic, once performed by Brubeck himself on the very stage where Pacific Northwest Ballet shared this delightful work by Susan Stroman. Known primarily as a Broadway powerhouse, Stroman’s work for the concert stage is every bit as skillful and engaging as her musical theater hits.

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Playing 2 of 8

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Decadancetheatre

4, 2014

Jennifer Weber’s powerful group of female hip-hop dancers already defies convention in a male-dominated field, and here she ups the ante by incorporating classical music into her vision. Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” is given a contemporary gloss by DJ Boo, but you’ll still be able to recognize the familiar melodies.

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Playing 3 of 8

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Inbal Pinto

Oyster, 2001

Set to a delightful elevator-music rendition of “Around the World in 80 Days,” this quirky trio from Israeli choreographer Inbal Pinto offers something completely different. The U.S. premiere of the award-winning full-evening Oyster was presented at the Pillow in 2001, and some of those lucky enough to have seen it live still talk about it!

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Playing 4 of 8

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Trey McIntyre Project

Mercury Half-Life, 2014

Tunes don’t get much catchier than Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and this work has the distinction of being the last piece performed by TMP before the company disbanded.

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Playing 5 of 8

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Royal Winnipeg Ballet

Carmina Burana, 2012

Although it’s now most often employed in movies and television commercials, Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” has a rich history as a dance work, including this version by Mauricio Wainrot.

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Playing 6 of 8

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Alexandra Danilova

Sugar Plum Fairy variation from The Nutcracker, 1952

Perhaps the most familiar of all dance tunes are those in The Nutcracker, here charmingly embodied by the inimitable Alexandra Danilova two years before Balanchine created his now-classic version.

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Playing 7 of 8

Ted Shawn's Men Dancers

Finale from The New World, 1936

The familiar strains of Dvořák’s “New World Symphony” are visualized here by Pillow founder Ted Shawn in this earliest clip of all those in Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive.

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Playing 8 of 8

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