The Collaborative Pianist's Role In An Integrated-Arts Setting: Dance, Music, and Visual Arts
Ng, Yee Von
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The idea of integrating all three aspects of the Fine Arts (painting, music, and dance) and to cohesively stage the three elements together appeared to be a rewarding way of highlighting various musical works in the standard and even obscure repertoire. Dance has always been associated with music whereas art can be more metaphoric albeit definitely mood-defining. Combining the three seemed to be a way in which musicians can further educate as well as delight audiences. I was inspired by the multi-faceted roles of a collaborative pianist on today's demanding musical stage. By including dance and art in collaborative piano recitals, I felt we could take the idea of collaboration several steps further, including several art forms rather than just one. I was also influenced by the current collaborative trend in today's arts community: "Some of the most groundbreaking artistic works have resulted when artists with knowledge and experience from distant genres and unrelated forms collide and spark new ideas. Though you may not recognize it in the end result, we've all seen and appreciate the results of these creative collisions" (Amit Gupta, "Artist Collaboration Fuels Creative Exploration"). This seems to be the direction in which modern-day performance might be going and, through this dissertation, I explored the many ways in which this idea can be developed. The three programs contained dance music with strong rhythmic motives, songs illustrating painters and `love-waltzes', character pieces which evoked dances from foreign lands, fairy tales and folk traditions. In each recital, I collaborated with live dancers, narrators, singers, and instrumentalists--a gamut of musical sounds and new ideas deviating from the norm of standard performance practice. The first two recitals were performed in the Ulrich Recital Hall and the final recital in the School of Music's Gildenhorn Recital Hall, both at the University of Maryland. All three recitals are available on digital video disc, which can be found in the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM).