"Let me, let me free-ee-eeze again to death." 17th-century British composer Henry Purcell's rending-of-garments "The Cold Scene" from "King Arthur" energizes dancers' evocative kinetics (above) expressing the storming of the beaches of Normandy during controversial D-Day70 commemoration presentation yesterday at Sword Beach, Normandy.
"I knew it was Mozart. Didn't like having Mozart associated with the Nazis," MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd protested to us this morning on Twitter in response to our critique of his reportage of the much-panned "interpretive dance" presented at Friday's D-Day70 observation at Sword Beach, Normandy. Counter to the narrative spin of every commenter we've seen out here, we were alone in finding something profound and revelatory in the live multi-media creation that interwove horrific historical film images of Nazi Germany and WWII with minimalist dancing and profoundly moving passages of Mozart, Beethoven ("Eroica" & "Ode to Joy"), Purcell and others to express the war between good and evil that is the human condition. More on our take in a moment, but first our twitter tussle with Todd:
Thx 4 reply @chucktodd! I think artistic pt was contrast betw Nazi inhumanity vs Mozart humanity. Also, German vs Austrian controversial :)— Sissy Willis (@SissyWillis) June 7, 2014
We happened to watch the "interpretive dance" live yesterday on C-Span 2, unfiltered, unlike almost everybody else, whose opinions seemed to echo Chuck Todd's. The estimable Rick Moran's assessment was typical:
Old blogfriend Fausta, who learned about it later in the day, compared the interpretive dance devastatingly to Mel Brooks's masterful "Springtime for Hitler," and the widely linked Mediaite put it this way in "D-Day Interpretive Dance Caps Off Month of Disrespect for Vets":
Had anyone actually WATCHED the thing? Or had most taken the assessment of thought leaders like Chuck Todd and run with it? May we suggest that what we have here might be an instance of Schopenhauer's informational cascades?
Todd, who appeared to be reading his comments about the "German music to sort of talk about the rise of Germany," admitted he hadn't even seen the performance, which ran along in split screen as he and others offered commentary. Why bother to watch a performance when you can rely upon the narrative of someone else who hasn't seen it?