Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra comes to life through dance

The Tuscaloosa Community Dancers become musical characters as they perform to match the music through dance.

By Laura Pilat
News Reporter

TUSCALOOSA – The night began with the soft melody of “Peer Gynt,” opening with the graceful sound of a flute whistling in the background. As the performance continued, it transitioned into additional selections that could be felt through vibrations of the hall and the cushion of your seat.

The Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra had its third collaboration with the Tuscaloosa Community Dancers at the Moody Music Building Concert Hall on Monday. The dancers used ballet to bring the characters to life from Benjamin Britten’s narrated “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.”

The dancers began their performance on stage as a representation of the whole orchestra with distinct movements that matched the emotion of the selection, “Dance of the Hours.” They were described during the event as the “dancing musical characters” for their interpretation of each sound.

“Dance brought the invisible spirit of music to life,” said Adam Flatt, conductor of the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra.

As the night progressed, David Duff, the narrator of the event, said the orchestra was divided into four different families: string, woodwind, brass and percussion. He described each instrument of the separate families before the dancers used precise technique to bring visibility and personality for the individual sounds.

Thomas Hill, a music student at the University of Alabama, said that the event allowed the students to support their professors in the orchestra while also helping them to become more accustomed to classical music.

The next concert, which is also the final performance of the 2017 to 2018 season, will be held May 7 at 7 p.m. The performance includes well-known pianist Stewart Goodyear. The Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra plans for the event to present a dramatic and emotional conclusion to their season.