• Nicola LeFanu
  • Anti-World (1972)

  • Novello & Co Ltd (World)

Work also involves a dancer

  • afl.clperc
  • Baritone, Soprano
  • 20 min

Programme Note

BRIEF PROGRAMME NOTE

Anti-World is about barriers – the invisible, irrational barriers which we imagine between people; and about freedom – or the way we restrict freedom in order to ‘control’ each other. The original impulse came from Russian samizdat writings. The piece evolves from humour to seriousness, as the dancer’s part evolves from mime to dance, the musicians’ parts from semi-determinate to fully notated music.

COMPOSER'S NOTE

Anti-World lasts 20 minutes. An outline of the piece:

1-5 mins: Surrealist assembly of musicians.
Dancer's initial attempts (thwarted) at "rapport" with individual musicians.

5-7 mins: The musicians control the dancer: her movements dictated by what they play.

8-15 mins: The dancer "breaks the spell" (at the wheel-spin) and now dictates to the musicians.
The musicians play for her: the soprano sings only for herself.
Dancer/soprano confrontation.

15-20 mins: Dancer in the power of the musicians.
Baritone sings - in pity, but outside the action.
Flute plays on for herself, oblivious.

My interest in writing for dance is primarily "abstract": the correlation between musical and physical gesture. However Anti-World can be enjoyed on many other levels. What is it "about"?

It is about barriers - the invisible, irrational barriers which we imagine between people; and about freedom - or the way we restrict freedom in order to "control" each other. The original impulse for the piece came from Russian samizdat writings. It should be emphasised, though, that the piece is not concerned with the direct representation of a dissident's plight. Rather the argument is carried on indirectly and by analogy: visual (e.g. the Meyerhold wheel) and on a musical plane. To this end my texts are not overtly political: a love lyric by Gorbanevskaya and lines from Voznesensky's Goya. Moreover the standpoint of the piece is not unremittedly serious. It evolves from humour to seriousness (occasionally reverting); concurrently the dancer's part evolves from mime to dance, the musicians' parts from semi-determinate to fully notated music.

© Nicola LeFanu