Dancing About Architecture

This is well worth a read.

The Quiet Return

dancing trio

I’ve always resisted writing about music. Someone famously said (whether it was Frank Zappa or Elvis Costello or Martin Mull depends on who you ask) that it’s a bit like ‘dancing about architecture’. Which, actually, sounds rather fun: to try and compose a dance that says something about a building, to try and express the Burj Khalifa in a ballet, Falling Water in a foxtrot. I mean, why not?

Goethe called architecture ‘frozen music’, which means, by implication, that music is ‘unfrozen architecture’. And maybe there is something architectural about dancing and music? The way a ballet dancer’s arm describes a certain arc, traces an invisible line; the shapes her body makes on the stage. Fiona Sampson writes of how music forms similar shapes through time, ‘almost as if the air passing down the long, skinny bassoon is drawing a diagram of what we hear’.

Writing, too, shapes itself through…

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