Tehillim

Phildanco: Not Your Average Jewish Dance

Last night I went to Phildanco's performance at The Joyce and saw something I did not expect: a dance set to Steve Reich's "Tehillim."  Phildanco is one of America's premier contemporary dance companies, with a heavy African-American influence.  And "Tehillim" is Reich's iconic Jewish chorale. Not there's a necessary contradiction, hardly. But seeing the company's exceptional dancers shimmy to Reich gave me pause.

A Steve Reich Reader

This week I wrote about the minimalist composer Steve Reich, whose groundbreaking Jewish chorale piece "Tehillim" (1981) is being performed by the teenage new music ensemble Face the Music next Thursday at Le Poisson Rouge. (They'll perform "Tehillim" at other locations over the next few months as well.)

For Young Musicians, The Reich Stuff

Playing celebrated composer’s ‘Tehillim’ is close encounter with a classic of modern music and Jewish culture.

02/01/2011
Staff Writer

‘Do it again! Kol han-sha ma ta-ha lail!” thundered Alan Pierson, conductor of the new music classical group Alarm Will Sound, at a rehearsal last week with the teenage ensemble Face the Music.

They were rehearsing Steve Reich’s seminal chorale piece, “Tehillim,” from 1981, which both ensembles performed together on Sunday at Merkin Concert Hall. Face the Music will continue to perform the piece throughout the city in upcoming weeks.

Student group Face the Music performed alongside the professional ensemble Alarm Will Sound Sunday. Photo:Meg Goldman
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