on dancing while playing the cello…

Jon Silpayamanant as Shiva before performing with his dance/music duo, Secondhand, in Newport.  March 30, 2013
Jon Silpayamanant as Shiva before performing with his dance/music duo, Secondhand, in Newport, Kentucky. March 30, 2013

Even though my first formal entry into dancing with the cello was nearly a year ago when I worked with my dance/music project, Secondhand, it was in a performance where I played the role of a cello playing Shiva. Since Shiva is the “Lord of the Dance” my role with my artistic partner, Celeste, was a counterpoint to her role as a dancing Kali.

Back in 1996 I almost took an audition with Tales & Scales, a Musictelling company which involved the musicians telling stories for children while dancing and speaking the roles of their characters–if a member/character wasn’t actively speaking or doing a demanding dance number, then the member would be playing their instrument as accompaniment to the story. Often the dancing and choreography involved playing while dancing. Cellist, David Eby, had been a company member until the ’94-’95 season and presumably – had I taken and won the audition – I would have filled his role since many of the productions are designed for the instrumentalists at hand.

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