Monday, November 19, 2007

Black Magic Woman

[Music: Review] Two arts merged to create a magical night of auditory hallucinations and visual fantasy at the Utah Symphony with illusionist Lyn Dillies (left). Wind, strings and percussion from the orchestra composed musical dreams that music inspires; lights, mirrors and three white doves fabricated child-like awe.

The night of tricks and treats began with Dillies conjuring Utah Symphony assistant conductor David Cho out of thin air. Dillies then disappeared backstage until the second half, allowing the audience to build up anticipation and excitement while listening to the spooky sounds of Gounod’s Funeral March of Marionette and John Williams’ suite from Harry Potter. The first act was properly concluded with a perfect pizzicato performance of Anderson’s Plink, Plank, Plunk. The precise plucks of the stringed instruments provoked passion in the audience. Pure magic.

The second half commenced with Dillies taking center stage and conducting her own magical movement, complete with "slicing and dicing" her male assistant Marc LeBlanc. An anomaly in the male-dominated magic kingdom, Dillies—superbly backed by the powerful music of Holst’s The Planets' "Mars, the Bringer of War"—vertically boxed in LeBlanc and in an Alien-esque moment proceeded to push herself, from behind, through his belly. However, humor was not lacking in the LynFlex trick, a Dillies invention to keep fit while on the road: to the accompaniment of Kabalevsky’s The Comedians, LeBlanc stretched and shrunk Dillies small frame to extremes.

Neither music nor magic dominated the performance; each accentuated and complemented the other, leaving symphony-goers chatting in the halls of fabulous musical moments and the wonderment of "How on earth did she do that?" (Kris Heitkamp)

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