Spirit of the Baroque

Nanaimo Chamber OrchestraDance! It’s the beat and movement of an era, a time. Today we dance to the waltz, samba, jive, fox trot, blues, country, rap, hip hop, swing, and contemporary sounds. In the Baroque era young people danced to music by Handel, Corelli, and Vivaldi. To celebrate classical dance, the Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra is presenting Dance: the Spirit of the Baroque, at the Ladysmith Agricultural Hall, 1110 First Avenue, Ladysmith, at 7:30 pm on Saturday, June 13, 2009, and at the Vancouver Island University Theatre, 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo, at 7:30 pm on Sunday, June 14, 2009.

To add that extra special dimension of movement to the evening, Ryan Genoe of Qualicum and Sophia Wolfe of Comox, both senior members of Dancestreams, join the orchestra to perform for George Frideric Handel’s Concerto Grosso. It’s a perfect partnership for the NCO in that Dancestreams, a pre-professional youth dance company, is dedicated to fostering excellence in talented Vancouver Island dancers and providing unique training and performance opportunities of the highest standards.

Says conductor Karl Rainer, “We all make sounds, we all move, and it is really wonderful to see how this all comes together and connects with Handel’s Concerto Grosso. We are so excited to be working with dancers in the moment.” The Concerto Grosso is very romantic and passionate, with slow movement but has contrast with a peppy, happy outlook. “Corelli’s Concerto Grosso is of the same style based on the dances of the time,” continues Rainer. “But while Handel hops and skips, Corelli hops and may step back on a step.”

The Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra is the mid-Island’s own community orchestra that focuses on mentoring youth, and for this concert, the youth factor also takes shape in the music, particularly with Mendelssohn’s Sinfonia No. 7 which was written before he was 13. “This is an example of what youth can do before they hit their mid teens,” adds Rainer. “It’s the kind of music that makes people’s ears perk up and feet tap,” continues Rainer. “It’s all small pieces, about fifteen minutes long, like short chapters in a book.”

It’s happy music, perfect for an early summer evening. Tickets are $17 or $6 for students and can be purchased at Falconer Books (Port Place Mall), The Quilted Duck (Nanaimo), Salamander Books (Ladysmith), and Hansel and Gretel’s Candy Co. (Chemainus). For more information, call Rol Morris at (250) 245-7276.