The Norman Transcript


April 16, 2012

The First Dance



The narration — derived from the books of Genesis and Psalms, as well as John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” — will be sung by soloists in English, as dancers illustrate the scenes.

Mary Lyn Graves, a dancer in the ensemble, said the combined artistic avenues of the piece provides an energy that resonates with the dancers, and she’s sure will excite the audience.

“We kind of switch roles a lot because the music goes from the very beginning when nothing is formed and we’re kind of just beings,” she said, as she described the progress of the performance. “It develops and at different times I portray a bird or a sea, the land and a bunch of different roles.”

Even though she doesn’t describe herself as a religious person, Graves said Haydn’s piece has something for everyone.

“For me, beyond religion, it’s also about the idea of creation as a process,” she said. “And the process of taking things that are really unfinished and truly chaotic and creating something that’s beautiful in the end and the steps that you go through with that.”

Zielinski agreed — though the performance has much value religiously, it speaks of universal truths for people from any background.

“We live in a pretty magnificent world,” he said. “It’s nice to be reminded of that beauty.”

Walter Reicher, artistic director of the internationally acclaimed Haydn Festival and guest lecturer before the concerts, said describing Haydn’s music is simple: “Haydn makes you happy.”

Because he loves Haydn so much, Reicher loved the idea of having a group of Norman musicians and dancers perform “The Creation” at the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, in August.

Reicher said performers will present “The Creation” complete with ballet for the first time in Haydn Hall of Esterházy Palace — a place near Haydn’s home where his work had been heard throughout Haydn’s lifetime.

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