“We’re trying … to be true to his intention, but give it space to breathe in today’s world.”Lara Downes
“In reimagining ‘Rhapsody In Blue’, Downes and Colon have maintained and extended its metaphorical expression of freedom and diversity by adding other cultural colours: Caribbean percussion, several soprano saxophone interludes and, most unexpectedly, in a version performed for San Francisco audiences, an Asian chamber ensemble.
Downes’ ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ is not merely diverse. It’s flexible. “The piece is site specific,” she explains. “The performance where you hear the Chinese ensemble premiered in San Francisco, where that history of immigration is so essential to that region. When we travel the piece and it goes to Austin, it will have a totally different formation in that section of the piece. In Boston it will reflect local issues and history there.”John McDonough