Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My little imaginary friend

Do you remember that either you, or some of your little friends around the age of 5 or 6, had an imaginary friend who used to go with you everywhere, and for whom sometimes there was even a seat at the dining table?

That's what I thought when in this week's OU music course's work the topic of 'minuet' appears, and we find ourselves watching a video on which the minuet dance is presented. By one dancer! She is supposed to be a specialist in the field, so does she not have a friend who she can dance with? There's plenty of nodding, bowing and scraping to that imaginary partner....Or did the OU not have enough money to pay for two? It all seems a bit cheap. I can hardly complain about the ancient videos - a long-standing joke about the OU, but at my present level of music studying nothing much changes, even in 30 years (hairlines come and go, fair-isle sweaters ditto...), though even 30 years ago Berlioz' Harold in Italy was not the greatest viola concerto ever, as they teach the unwary in the course ...You wonder how many of the people on the videos are still working....

I still find the minuet one of the most boring dances, so formal, so gentle, totally unpassionate - a bit like the Royal Scottish Country Dancing Society who does the dances ever so nicely, ever so gracefully - and 'raucous' would never enter their vocabulary (me, I'm going to learn the Salsa in the summer school in England!), or Mary and her little lamb. Ah well, must rush off and write a minuet.....