February 21st, 2012

Julia Fischer, Suzanne Farrell, music and dance, dance and music

I came across this video by accident, because YouTube in its infinite wisdom had recommended it for me. I was struck first by the beauty of the piece, then by the intensity of the performers, then by the gorgeous youthfulness of Ms. Fischer, and finally by her low-cut gown. I hadn’t seen that in a classical musician before; I always thought they were supposed to dress less provocatively so as not to distract the audience from the music. But I guess the times they have a-changed:

Ms. Fischer also looked strangely familiar. It struck me that, impressive cleavage notwithstanding, she moves like a dancer and stands like a dancer. Sure enough, look at the following moment in a piece about her:

If she’s not a dancer, she’s a gymnast or contortionist, on top of her fabulously virtuosic violin playing.

I finally realized that she also she reminds me of someone in the dance world: the inimitable Suzanne Farrell. Farrell’s in her 60’s now, as this video attests, but look at the footage of the youthful Farrell and I think you’ll see the strong resemblance (and Farrell was known for her musicality as well). Did Farrell have a love child in Germany thirty-odd years ago?:

Farrell was a completely unique dancer with a lush quality of movement, expansive and ethereal at the same time. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of video on YouTube of her glorious Balanchine years. Grainy and truncated though this is, the following shows something of what made her so special. Those developpes a la seconde of Farrell’s that end the segment are high, but that’s not what they’re about, it’s their quality. They seem like pointers that go on forever, into infinity:

9 Responses to “Julia Fischer, Suzanne Farrell, music and dance, dance and music”

  1. F Says:


    Very nice indeed. And I too was struck by the low-cut gown. Distracting, to say the least. Clearly she is a dancer — those libertines!

  2. Bob Agard Says:

    I agree that a break from polics is in order! Linked here: http://bobagard.blogspot.com/2012/02/virtuoso.html

  3. Bob Agard Says:


  4. rtsquard Says:

    Yoga, she does yoga.

  5. Gordon C. Says:

    And this is why we love your blog!

  6. Les Says:

    Perhaps the dress code for performers is subtly being moved. I’m not sure if you saw the Yuja Wang controversy on her dress


  7. davisbr Says:


  8. Nolanimrod Says:

    The director seems to have agreed with you. Never saw so much of a solo shot from the performer’s rear.

  9. vanderleun Says:

    Next up, Julia Fischer playing the Grand Canyon Suite!

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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