Classical Music A to Z aims to demystify the extensive, confusing and foreign terminology of classical music one letter at a time. S is for sarabande — a dance for the senses and the soul.
The sarabande is a slow baroque dance form that J.S. Bach exploits in all its soulful grace as the emotional heart of his six cello suites. Feel its impact in this exclusive CBC video of Denise Djokic performing the sarabande from the Suite No. 1 in G major at Saint Boniface Chapel in Winnipeg:
Records indicate that the sarabande (Zarabanda) originated in Latin America as a more up-tempo dance. It sashayed over to Spain in the early 16th century. Considered overly risqué — even obscene and “exciting bad emotions” — it fell from favour, then resurfaced in a more stately, refined meter. Dancers would step and glide in sync to a slow, triple time; bodies in unison stressing the strong second beat.
We're enjoying a renaissance of sensuous period dances through today's movies and television series. Watch Lizzy and D'Arcy, the protagonists of the BBC's TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, engage in the thrust and parry of dueling barbs while a heady triple beat works its seductive magic.
Denise Djokic: some sweet Bach suites
Cellist Ariel Barnes plays Bach
Definitely not the cello: In Concert quiz
on Feb 08, 2012