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The Catherine Wheel (Twyla Tharp Dance Foundation) / Twyla Tharp (Choreographer) [DVD]

Notes & Reviews:

Set to an original score by David Byrne, the lead singer/composer of Talking Heads, the dance grew out of Twyla Tharp's fascination with Saint Catherine, the 4th-century martyr who was condemned to die on a spiked wheel.

With spectacular visual effects - animation, computer generated figures - this program is a phenomenal dance experience. But it's the music that matters here. Sounding more like a missing Talking Heads session than anything remotely like Byrne's 1990s-era work (this is after all recorded in 1981), the music was composed and produced to accompany a Twyla Tharp-choreographed dance event, and for program music it's brilliant enough to stand alone. The 73 minutes are almost seamless, weaving ambient soundscapes with loopy percussion-backed bass runs with guitar strumming across the top, sounding both like his band and entirely different from them. You can hear in The Catherine Wheel where Byrne was heading (i.e., heavily rhythmic music) years before the Heads were disbanded and he ventured into life as a Brazilian- and Latin-music impresario. It's the sound of a young genius having free reign, and as such it's exceptional.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 87 min.
Region: 1
Picture Format: NTSC, 4:3, Color
Sound Format(s): , Digitally Processed
Country of Origin: USA


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