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Music Talks > 2016 Winter

Music Club: Wednesday 2 November 2016 (7 - 8:30 pm)


Title: Inspired by Bach
One Film with Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
Followed by a Kabuki Performance of the Snake Story
with Bandō Tamasaburō the great Kabuki Actor

Composer: J. S. Bach
Language: English presentation
Film in English with French Subtitles.

Click Here to download the presentation given on the 2nd of November.

In 1997, Yo-Yo Ma, the Chinese Cellist, started a series of collaborative experiments based on the 6 Cello Suites of Bach. He approach 6 different artists. As each one worked in his/her domain, YoYo Ma integrated a specific Cello Suite in their work. The 6 films are the following. We will present that associated with Suite 5:
Suite No 1: The Music Garden
Suite No 2: The Sound Of The Carceri
Suite No 3: Falling Down Stairs
Suite No 4: Sarabande
Suite No 5: Struggle For Hope <<<<<
Suite No 6: Six Gestures

Struggle for Hope - Cello Suite No 5 in C Minor, BWV 1011
(Kabuki Theater)
  1. Prélude    
  2. Allemande
  3. Courante  
  4. Sarabande
  5. Gavotte I / II      
  6. Gigue
The film is directed by Niv Fichman. Yo-Yo travels to Japan to work with "his favorite Kabuki actor" Bandō Tamasaburō to choreograph a dance for the Fifth Suite. The process is not always easy as Bandō finds himself struggling to express emotion while keeping up with the tempo of the suite, especially in the Allemande movement. However, with guidance from Yo-Yo, the completed piece is an exquisite work that takes the viewer through a range of emotions from lamenting to denial and dreaming all through the movements and gestures of a master Kabuki.


Bandō Tamasaburō is a stage name taken on by a series of Kabuki  actors of the Bandō family. Of the five who have held this name, most  were adopted into the lineage. Many members of the Bandō family were  also adopted or blood members of the Morita family, who established and  ran the Morita-za theatre in Edo.
Tamasaburō, like other actors' names, is bestowed (or given up) at grand naming ceremonies called shūmei  in which a number of actors formally change their names. The name  Tamasaburō is generally taken early in an actor's career; another name  is taken afterwards.

Yo-Yo Ma (Cello): born October 7, 1955) is a Chinese-American cellist. Born in Paris, he spent his schooling years in New York City and was a child prodigy, performing from the age of five. He graduated from the Juilliard School and Harvard University and has enjoyed a prolific career as both a soloist performing with orchestras around the world and a recording artist. He has recorded more than 90 albums and has received 18 Grammy Awards.
In addition to recordings of the standard classical repertoire, he has recorded a wide variety of folk music such as American bluegrass music, traditional Chinese melodies, the tangos of Argentinian composer Ástor Piazzolla, and Brazilian music. He also collaborated with Grammy Award-winning jazz/reggae singer Bobby McFerrin. Ma's primary performance instrument is a Montagnana cello built in 1733 valued at US$2.5 million.
He has been a United Nations Messenger of Peace since 2006. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2001,[4] Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, and the Polar Music Prize in 2012.
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