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Intimidation becomes motivation in Tanowitz/Dinnerstein 'Goldberg Variations' / WBUR: The Artery

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Nearly two years ago, New York-based Pam Tanowitz faced a seemingly risky proposition - to choreograph to Johann Sebastian Bach's "Goldberg Variations." The masterpiece, written in 1741, remains one of the most notoriously daunting pieces in the classical music repertoire. Moreover, the celebrated ballet master and choreographer Jerome Robbins had already created a work to the variations, which was performed by the New York City Ballet in 1971.

So when classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein approached Tanowitz about the collaboration, the contemporary choreographer was hesitant to take on such an iconic score, and a classical one at that. After mulling it over, however, she allowed her intimidation to become her motivation. The are set to play ICA this week.

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