Jan 29

Looking for the Right Music for San

I want to dance San from Princess Mononoke.  I want to show her as the warrior princess, proud and unhesitating, desperately fighting for the way of the forest and the forest beings she knows and loves.

I need music for her.


The theme from Princess Mononoke is much too slow, meandering, and reflective (if not downright schmaltzy) for a warrior princess.  The Legend of Ashitaka, while a beautiful piece of music, lacks the fire I’m looking for.  Ta Ta Ri Gami has the fire, but is too repetitive and lacks a sufficiently resolved resolution, musically speaking, for a good stand alone routine.  And while I might have been able to cut and blend Legend of Ashitaka and Ta Ta Ri Gami into a medley, neither struck quite the spark to put in the work for a  good cut (good in this case meaning unnoticeable unless you are very familiar with the music)


So I’ve been listening to a lot of music, trying to find just the right thing.  It has to have fire.  It has to have PG lyrics, if it has lyrics.  It should probably not be more of my favorite soprano-led symphonic metal groups.  I don’t want an entire show sounding the same, no matter how much I love that sound.


Nor should it be music that “belongs” too strongly to another character or story already.  (Alas, all that music from Legend of Zelda that would fit all my requirements!)  It has to be distinctly varied musically while still being fairly short, or cut-able to 5 minutes or less.  (Other dance disciplines can have 20 minute dance items; an aerial routine that is not primarily sitting on the apparatus cannot.)


I have been severely tempted by a haunting remix from Deus Ex, courtesy of Overclocked Remix, and by Rimsky-Korsakov’s Grand Russian Easter Overture, among others.  Both have great melodies.  The first is a good pace for one person to keep up with, more subdued than I wanted, but with a driving bass line and a good amount of variation in the treble line and ornamentation.  The second goes from grim, with solo horn calls, to extremely fast and triumphant development and resolution sections for the entire orchestra.  Fast and loud and highly structured: just what I love.  But Grand Russian Easter Overture is really too fast, too much for one person, even cut to 5 minutes.  There’s so much in the music, I can’t possibly do it all justice by myself (this is why I’ve never tried dancing a fugue solo.  One person cannot dance all the voices.)  Back to the drawing board.


Finally, after spending too much time clicking around Youtube links, I will be dancing San to some of Adrian von Ziegler’s Celtic Collection II.  Not as dark and angry as I’d originally planned, but I think I can make it work for a fiery warrior princess.