Eccentric Dances for Woodwind Quintet and Optional Dancer
by René Urs Meyer (music) and John Wm Garand (dance)
Dance No.1 Shoshone Point (Grand Canyon)
John has relied on the use of a walking stick following an automobile accident some years back. In a recreation of the dance, some sort of stick or pole could be used to good effect. The music for this dance begins with the lowest notes of the woodwinds although some players may opt to play them an octave higher since not all instruments can reliably produce them. An alternative would be to include an Alto Flute or an English Horn during these passages.
Dance No.2 The Boboli Gardens (Florence, Italy)
John decided to interact with these frozen-in-time renaissance sculptures when he saw that one was missing on the pedestal. The music uses some ornamentation that harkens back to the time.
Dance No.3 The Montauk Point Lighthouse (Long Island, New York)
John decided to mimic the turning of the lighthouse's lamp. The music suggests the repetitive and monotonous sounds of a fog horn. John was surprised when a small audience gathered and applauded his performance.
Dance No.4 The Walking Dunes (Long Island, New York)
The sand dunes on the southern fork of Long Island are not on the shore, but inland, in a forest clearing. The winds have deposited sand here and the dunes are continually shifting—walking—as they cover more of the trees.
Dance No.5 Drumming in a Bamboo Grove (Maui, Hawai'i)
In this dance, John improvised a chant and, because his foot started to bother him, had to sit down to continue the dance. He concluded with a wild banging of his walking stick against the bamboo canes.
If this dance were recreated on stage, we would suggest these two elements be included somehow. The dancer(s) could improvise some chanting and then follow it with some improvised percussion work at the agitato segment near the conclusion.