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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Boléro, by Maurice Ravel

Orchestre National de France / Online / Music

What a wonderful way to present the symphony orchestra as a living, breathing organism that exists beyond the parameters of the stage and the pit. Due to corona confinement, members of this French orchestra, each in his or her own home but connected by technology, perform an abridged, four-minute version of Ravel’s beloved Boléro. To see each player in a square of space, the number of squares multiplying as Ravel builds toward his momentous finale, is wildly exciting. Here’s a perfect break from home schooling, and a moment to savor one of civilization’s great inventions—the symphony orchestra. You can then move on to any number of full-length Boléros, which run from 14 to 17 minutes, depending on the conductor. Or you can check out (also on YouTube) Boléro Texas or Boléro Red Bank. These are two examples of a dance event created by the choreographer Larry Keigwin, one that he adapts to fit the ethnicities, traditions, and quirks of whatever town he’s in, using local dancers and non-dancers alike. —L.J.

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