dance and music home

dance and music ballet instruction book

new ballet instruction cds

about pianist harriet cavalli

tanz und musik

neue cds

deutsch cds

uber harriet cavalli

musings


Drop a Note
email Harriet
to Harriet






Harriet Cavalli: Dance and Music

Now Available on CD:



A TRIBUTE TO
PERRY BRUNSON
ballet class
Click the CD
for a closer look.
dance and musicThis CD is a recollection of the class of the late Perry Brunson by one of his accompanists. Born in Pensacola, FL, his dancing career, with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, was cut short because of a knee injury. In the 1960s, he was a teacher in New York City at the Ballet Russe School and for the Joffrey school and company, as well as in Norfolk, VA. In the 1970s, he was balletmaster of the Harkness Ballet in New York and the First Chamber Dance Company in Seattle, as well as co-director, with Raymond Bussey, of the Seattle Dance Center and teacher at Pacific Northwest Ballet. He died in 1981.

A student's musical approach to his class demanded giving in to the relentless musical pace, relying on that music for the strength to get through his class, and the utmost finesse (his adagios were often choreographic jewels of expressive and unusual port de bras combined with demanding adagio movement).

While it certainly is not possible to recreate the atmosphere of a Brunson class on a CD, much of this music will be familiar to any of his former students who may listen to it. Just as a professional dancer will not be able to sit still when (s)he hears some musical phrases of a ballet (s)he danced, so will many of these selections set former students in motion.

Mr. Brunson's class was unique in every way, but especially musically, and I am hoping that this CD will help to preserve its special qualities. However, in speaking with teachers, I have found that a large majority do not use the combinations included with the CD booklets. They are mainly looking for good music to work with--to use according to their own needs. One doesn't need to use Mr. Brunson's class format to benefit from this CD. For example, the music for grands battements is also suitable for a big waltz combination; the jetés without plié music is good for petit allegro; the barre adagio can be used for a center adagio, etc.

You will find five extra tracks at the end under the subtitle TO RUSSIA WITH LOVE. These tracks were recorded at the same time I recorded the Brunson and the "tempo" classes--in August of 1992--and I had originally hoped to release a CD with all of my favorite music by Russian composers. These five tracks are as far as I got. Tracks 55, 56, and 58 are by Reinhold Glière; tracks 57 and 59 are by Sergei Rachmaninoff; four of the five are suitable for classroom use. They were also special favorites of Mr. Brunson.

I am honored and grateful to have been Perry Brunson's pianist for 12 years. His class is stamped forever in my hands, my head, and my heart. This CD is a tribute to him in remembrance and gratitude for the career he enabled me to make.

Photo of Perry Brunson by Maurice Seymour




CHOOSE YOUR OWN TEMPO
ballet class
Click the CD
for a closer look.
dance and musicI set about making this CD because I wanted to give teachers tempo options. And this will provide the means for a teacher to have the students get a combination thoroughly into their brains and bodies, and then to challenge them--when appropriate--by speeding it up.

I will always remember the teachers who were VERY specific about tempo. I used to think that they were just being picky; when I began to study ballet myself, I felt instantly that a hair's breadth of difference in the tempo could mean the difference between just getting through a combination and really doing it constructively. I didn't decide to record unorthodox tempi, but I wanted to offer what might be new possibilities to teachers looking for a challenge.

You will find five extra tracks at the end under the subtitle TO RUSSIA WITH LOVE. These tracks were recorded at the same time I recorded the Brunson and the "tempo" classes--in August of 1992--and I had originally hoped to release a CD with all of my favorite music by Russian composers. These five tracks are as far as I got. Tracks 57, 58, and 60 are by Reinhold Glière; tracks 59 and 61 are by Sergei Rachmaninoff; four of the five are suitable for classroom use.

Photo of Francesca Corkle by Rosemary Winckley




MUSIC FOR BALLET CLASS

arranged and played by

HARRIET CAVALLI

class structured by

MARTIN SCHLÄPFER

Class 1: Elementary-Intermediate
Class 2 : Intermediate-Advanced

ballet class
ballet class
Click on either CDdance and musicfor a closer look.

dance and musicEach class has over an hour of music, and includes such composers as Puccini, Sousa, Glinka, Glière, Minkus, Jelly Roll Morton, Prokofiev, Meyerbeer, Beethoven, Zez Confrey, Johann Strauss, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, and Glazounov.