Brahms Paganini

Brahms Paganini
World premiere date
Premiere location place
Dayton, OH
Dance sections

Book I (Solo for a Male Dancer): Colton

Book II (Quartet): Washington, Kurshals, Carrafa, Freydont with Way

Dancers

Shelley Freydont, Shelley Washington, Jennifer Way
John Carrafa, Richard Colton, Raymond Kurshals

Total number of dancers
6
Runtime
00:21:25

Brahms Paganini is set to both books of Johannes Brahms’ “Variations on a Theme by Paganini,” a virtuosic composition for solo piano.

A male dancer performs the entire first book of variations alone. Rapid turns and large jumps explode out of quick weight shifts. In Tharp’s style of easy virtuosity, he slides expertly from one variation to the next.

The second book is danced by a quartet. The movement is infused with athletic dynamism that pushes the dancers' strength and determination. A female soloist intersperses the powerful partnering with echoes of the preceding section.

Brahms Paganini is a tour de force for both the dancers and pianist, requiring the highest levels of technical proficiency and stamina.

  • image
    Freydont, Carrafa, Washington and Kurshals in a promotional photo. ©Jack Mitchell
  • image
    William Whitener performs "Book I." ©Martha Swope  
Full music program

Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Opus 35 (Books I & II)
Composed By Johannes Brahms

Music details
Music track
webmusic-brahmspaganini.mp3
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