Dancers Floating On The Sounds Of The Organ

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The blend of the music coming to life through the dancers’ movements and the dance being imagined while listening to the harmonic offerings made for a sensory feast.

Boredom linked to religion; dread linked to displeasure.

These were my early organ memories. I remember the droning sounds of the organ accompanying the voices of the church choir. Then, I was too young to understand and too young to care, but my “not-so-fond” recollections outlasted any attempt to appreciate the music of this instrument.

Years later, I heard organist Andrew Sheridan playing at All Saints Church in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  His hands and feet seemed choreographed to breathe life into every chord.

On Sunday April 10th, I was reintroduced to the potential of the organ at The Philadelphia International Festival of Arts’ world premiere of Attack Point. The Philadelphia festival, in its third iteration, has successfully showcased groundbreaking art, artists, and companies across all genres and this year, Gallim Dance became a noteworthy addition to the growing list.

A night of music and dancing, brought together the Brooklyn-based dance company, the Curtis Institute of Music, and Choral Art Philadelphia. While each group added fuel to the night, it was their synthesis that erupted with intensity. Organ music that is traditionally danced was performed to be listened to, and organ music, traditionally unaccompanied by movement, was choreographed. As the program more succinctly described the experience, it was "dancing for the ears and organ for the eyes."

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