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Topic: Ballet San Jose performance using GPO

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  1. #1

    Ballet San Jose performance using GPO

    Late notice, but anyone in the SF bay area who'd like to see a great ballet that features GPO for its string section - "Middle Kingdom" with music by Phil Young is playing tonight(Friday Feb. 11) and through the weekend.

    I saw the performance last night - a really interesting mix of traditional western style ballet company and Chinese performance troupe. Highly imaginative and entertaining, great dancing with very colorful sets and the music is terrific.

    GPO was used for the string section and various soloists were recorded over this, including erhu(Chinese violin.)


    Happy Chinese New Year

  2. #2

    Re: Ballet San Jose performance using GPO

    Doyle W. Donehoo, Composer
    Radar Music
    www.doylewdonehoo.com

  3. #3
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    Re: Ballet San Jose performance using GPO

    Thanks for the report Doyle and Paul. I am glad both of you made it to the world premiere of the San Jose Ballet production of "MIDDLE KINGDOM — ANCIENT CHINA".

    For those who don't know about the production, "MIDDLE KINGDOM — ANCIENT CHINA" is a 4-act dance production by Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley and the Chinese Performing Artists of America which intermingles Western ballet and traditional Chinese dance and music. There are more than 40 performing artists in this production. There were six performances, February 10 - 13, 2005, at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts andperhaps there may be more performances in the future. Phil Young composed the music for the production.

    "Stunning" ... "No pit musicians were harmed, as there were none. Phil Young's pleasing score was recorded" - San Francisco Chronicle, Feb 13, 2005 (Even the San Francisco Chronicle nor the audience seemed to know that much of the score was sampled rather than recorded musicians).

    "There are many reasons to admire ... including its beautiful costumes and sets, its cross-cultural significance and its sheer ambition." - San Jose Mercury News, Feb. 12, 2005


    About Phil Young
    Phil Young is a remarkable and gifted composer who's symphonic music has been performed in USA, Germany and China. Mr. Young studied composition with Luo Zhongrong, one of the leading composers in China, and became a staff composer for the Beijing Symphony. Among the variety of music he wrote, his ballet music Fire Dance, composed for Jia Zuoguang, a renowned choreographer, won in China’s national competition. After immigrating to the U.S. in 1981, he studied with Elinor Armer at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and received high academic award. His symphonic piece Fantasy for Orchestra won the Conservatory Competition in 1986 and was chosen for the Spring Concert at Herbst Theater in San Francisco, which was broadcasted live by the KQED radio station. The piece was later included in the Thuringer Symphony’s 2001 concert season in Germany and well received by both the audience and the orchestra.

    Mr. Young is currently the music director of the Chinese Performing Artists of America, his composition for Dragon 2000™ has won overwhelming receptions. His latest composition From the East which is included in this concert, has received enthusiastic review from the San Francisco Classical Voice. Phil resides in San Jose and has been writing music for the local performing groups in varies forms including orchestral, chamber, electronic, chorus and film. His music has been performed internationally by Beijing Symphony in China, Tuhringer Symphony in Germany, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Ballet San Jose Orchestra, San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra and South Bay Chamber Orchestra.

    Phil writes: "The 1st time I heard the GPO sound I grew goosebumps! I've never expected this kind of lushness and the nuance of a life orchestra from sampled sound. On top of the affordability, GPO is making every composer's dream come true! I'm using it as a primary sound element in my music composition for the San Jose Ballet's production 'Middle Kingdom'."




    For a Flash Slide Show of the Costumes go Here.

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    Re: Ballet San Jose performance using GPO

    Here is another review of Middle Kingdom — Ancient China" Review By Keith Kreitman, writing for "Inside Bay Area ". Kudos to Phil Young!

    I DREAD reviewing a production where I don't have enough superlative adjectives to adequately describe the experience. The premiere of "Middle Kingdom — Ancient China" during the weekend at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts did that to me. Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley and Chinese Performing Artists of America gave me the most exhilarating dance theater experience in memory. It's an epic of visual splendor. I feel safe in predicting that it's a sure masterpiece and that when it tours, it will win the admiration of the ballet world. Every element of the production contributed to its success. Choreography by Dennis Nahat and Yong Yao blends classical dance of Western and Chinese roots, with the famed Chinese acrobatics thrown in. The creators must have come near exhausting the vocabularies of both the Western and Asian dance traditions — the show became a test of their dancers' resources. And what dancing! They met the challenge. The combined company of 27 from Ballet San Jose and 10 dancers and six martial arts artists from the San Jose-based Chinese Performing Artists of America were flawless, especially in the acrobatics. As a chorus, in pas de deux and in solos, they held the audience spellbound. There also was some great humor. Individually, the funniest dancers represented animals from the Chinese Lunar Year calendar. The monkey by Fei Chen is a marvel of acrobatic movement. Yingchao Zhang from China repeatedly wowed the audience, especially playing the ox in the Chinese zodiac sequence. The stage boasted vibrant color combinations by Ching Shyu (set), as well as costumes brought over from China. Dazzling would be an understatement. Lighting by Kenneth L. Keith turned the show into a brilliant visual feast.

    CPAA resident composer Phil Young provided music that not only laid the platform upon which the dancers could emote, but could easily stand alone as an outstanding modern work.

    "Middle Kingdom — Ancient China" is a classic example of how all elements in a production contribute to its success. While the themes almost didn't matter — the beauty of the performances held the audience spellbound — the three-act show covers stories from 5,000 years of Chinese history. Among the tales are a story of the creation, the Chinese invention of printing, gunpowder and the compass as well as battles and all sorts of dances. Ann Woo, executive director of CPAA, went to the right guy with her idea. Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley's Nahat has a global view of dance, accepting and promoting all genres. (He made a sensational ballet set to the music of Elvis Presley and gave us the great "Out of Africa" several years ago.) The only sad thing about "Middle Kingdom" is that it had only a four-day run.

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