PODCAST #2: Music and Dance

Johann Wolfgang von¬†Goethe once said, rather memorably, that architecture is frozen music. He was touching on the interconnectedness of things that we moderns regard as radically separate: the visual arts, performing arts, and sciences. Buildings are monuments, public and private spaces all at once. They are never purely “functional”. They communicate the soul of the people who design and build them, in much the same way that music does. The medium in one is stone, in the other, sound, but they have a common root.

This is all the more true of the relationship between dance and music. We take our own nominalist taxonomies so seriously but they are simply artificial: is “minuet” a dance term or a musical one? To even ask the question is to confess one’s stupidity. All of Bach’s cello suites are stylised dances and to recite them in a way that does not account for this is to enervate them and degrade them. Similarly, there is no point in submitting to the discipline and rigour of dance training if you are not a lover of music.

Dance and Music

Quite obviously, there is no dance without music. But it’s equally true that music does not exist in stasis. We are millennia away from the Greek ideal, but we still find traces of it. I invited Jann Esterhuizen to talk to us about this relationship. The conversation went off the deep end and we discussed topics as far afield as Russia, totalitarianism, Apollo and Prokofiev. Here is some of Jann’s most recent work:

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