My passion is to help others in the community, young, old, and everyone in between, find relevance and joy in learning, performing or listening to classical music.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Creativity Discovered: The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra's choreographed "Holberg Suite"

It's been 4 years since I last posted a "Creativity Discovered" post.  That's not to say that nothing creative has happened during this time - quite the opposite really!  But recently I came across a series of YouTube videos that has made me realize that I should get back to posting about some of the inspiring performances I've been hearing about and seeing.

© laufer -
To kick off this series again, I want to share the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra's partially choreographed performance of Edvard Grieg's Holberg Suite, Op. 40.  Written in 1884, the composer based the 5 movements on 18th century dance forms.  I think it can be tempting as musicians to perform these older dances in a somewhat restrained fashion which might befit some dances but when we consider that many of them originated from folk dances it makes me wonder if we could stand to loosen up and to treat the music in a more carefree way.

That's what the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra did with their performance.  Their choice of clothing, their approach to the music and each other, along with the choreography, work together to give me the impression that I'm at a country fair, sitting on a fence to take in or even join in the festivities.  I just love it!  And I have a sneaking suspicion the musicians enjoyed it too.  That is evident from their body language and the expressions on their faces throughout.

But enough of me jabbering on about them, here they are.  My favorite, in case you're interested or if you only have a little time to watch, is the last movement, the Rigaudon.  If nothing else, watch that one!   And if you want a link to my playlist of all of them, click here.


And if anyone knows of any other inspiring, creative performances I should watch, please do let me know by leaving a comment.







  1. Don't have time to watch yet, but is this a thing now? Orchestra players memorizing music and having to be dancers, too? I enjoyed the UMSO performance you posted recently, but this sets the bar awfully high ...

    1. Harriet,
      Good question! And I have to admit it makes me feel a little nervous too since I'm not exactly sure I'd be up for it. However, it also makes me think that if all these folks can do it then so could I. I would be very interested to see if the choreography aspect of it would affect how I go about memorizing and how I feel about performing by memory. I have a sneaking suspicion it would at least help me be distracted from worrying about memory slips since I am very self-conscious about dancing! ;-)

      I definitely wouldn't advocate doing this type of thing for every piece of music performed - as with anything I think it would get old. But I am enjoying what's coming out of these performances.

      I hope you have some time to watch a little of it. I think it's worth it.

      All the best,