A christmas carol ballet class #14: Ports de bras – Coventry Carol

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trafalgar-sqaureTo download the song, either right-click (Mac: ctrl+click) the player above and select ‘save audio as’, or right-click (Mac: ctrl+click) this link and select ‘save link as‘.

Sorry about the wonky order of ports de bras after adage, but the version I wanted to do of Santa Lucia yesterday was too slow for port de bras, and I’m still racking my brains for any, ANY christmas carol that is suitable for tendus and pirouettes without calling the taste police. I may just commit the crime anyway, but I’m giving it another day in case I can think of something I can live with.

Coventry carol has been a favourite of mine since I was at school – probably because its modal strangeness is a relief from all the usual christmassy Victoriana  of other carols. I’ve played it so many times in a ballet-version that I’d forgotten how it actually went. I’ve kept it square for this exercise, even though the more irregular-shaped original is much nicer. This is yet another song that shows how very particular ballet class music is – people talk about ‘regular eight bar phrases’ as if that’s a common thing in music, but it’s actually pretty rare, except in a very small bandwidth of social dances.

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