Classical chorus, hip-hop dance join in 'Carmina Burana'

dancers' imageA classical choral work will meet modern hip-hop dance when Nicholasleichterdance teams up with a 135-voice college-community chorus to present “Carmina Burana” in Waterman Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9.

For the renowned New York City troupe led by Nicholas Leichter, the Oswego appearance represents one of the first opportunities to go on the road with the piece. The 70-minute modern take on Carl Orff’s ode to earthly love, student life and frivolity was commissioned by the Brooklyn Philharmonic and first performed in February.

Orff’s work, which debuted in 1937, set 24 medieval Latin poems dating to the 13th century into a contemporary narrative. Leichter and company use modern dance and hip hop to transpose the story forward into the 21st century.

Allan Kozinin of the New York Times said the troupe’s presentation of “Carmina Burana” resembled “a musical comic book, couched in bright hues and exclamation points. . . . Kinetic and at times mechanistic, but just as often the picture of fluid liquidity.”

Leichter has taught on the faculties of the Tisch School for the Arts and the American Dance Festival and instructed throughout North America, Asia and Europe. His work seeks to explore relationships of race, gender and other social and cultural issues through movement, contrast and aesthetics.

“Nicholas Leichter’s choreography is joyfully infectious; he punctuates smooth, pulsating phrases with hops and gestures,” Susan Yung wrote in Dance Magazine. “His musical choices vary from pop and R&B to experimental commissioned music for strings. He sometimes floats the movement atop the music, like a boat riding the sea’s swells. Or he leads a phrase across a rhythm’s path, creating a curious tension—as simple as stillness set against music.”

The event is presented by the college’s Student Association Programming Board, Artswego Performing Arts Series and music department.

Tickets to “Carmina Burana” cost $16 ($12 for seniors and students, $7 for SUNY Oswego students).

For information or reservations, contact Tyler box office at 312-2141 or

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(Posted: Nov 15, 2006)