On Saturday afternoon, 2:30 pm, our Denman Baroque Music Director, Marco Vitale and colleagues, will present Rameau’s opéra-ballet, Les Indes galantes of 1735. This work includes an allegorical prologue and entrées that have separate plots, including references to native people from around the world. This reduced version by Rameau is ideal for our stage in the Denman Community Hall.
The French in the 17th century didn’t know much about distant native people and their cultures. For example, when explorers encountered native Americans, the French at home may have heard that explorers were offered a peace pipe to allay any perceived threat. And that was about it. Such bits of lore were too slight, so the French made things up, depicting the natives in costumes that more resembled fancy dress balls in Versailles.
The same thing happened in music. In their ignorance, the French found connection through dance, that insistent primal beat that we all respond to. So on Saturday afternoon you will hear rousing, foot-stomping dance music. It’s too bad we don’t have dancers on the stage, like we did for the Gypsy umbia Orchestra. Nonetheless, this is a production I think that will appeal to everybody.