Lalita-Nartya - Harp

Catalog: GB9665

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Lalita Nartya was composed when Odissi* dancer Eglantine Bisserier suggested I should write a piece to accompany pre-existing choreography. Some essential features, such as the rhapsodic structure of the piece and the frequent shifts in rhythm and atmosphere, were therefore dictated by the demands of the choreographic language. The challenge was to maintain the formal unity of the musical work while not thwarting the existing choreographic discourse. As might be expected, the harmonic language builds on Carnatic modes. However, it always avoids being overtly picturesque.

The title is both an evocation of the Hindu goddess Gaudi and a tribute to the graceful dancer who inspired the piece. Lalita translates as “she who plays”, “the loving one” or “the most beautiful one” and nartya is associated with anything dance-related. The full title then reads as “the dance of the most beautiful one” and “the goddess’ delight”.

The mellow introduction features the dotted rhythm that characterizes the piece, followed by a brief anticipation of the main theme. A glissando firmly establishes the mode and launches a succession of several short and well-defined thematic motifs (all deriving from the original rhythmic cell) that offer agogic or dynamic contrasts adapted to the choreography. The main motif, already heard in the introduction, recurs as a leitmotif throughout the piece. A break in the discourse (meas. 65) introduces a more moderate section that gradually becomes animated, moving up to a climax on the initial motif (meas. 88). A decrescendo leads to the final section (meas. 103) that explores the motif anew before an ultimate crescendo gives way to a contemplative, almost ethereal coda.

*(Odissi is a classical Indian dance form originating from the Eastern state of Odisha).


Publisher: Billaudot
Composer/Author: Coulomb, Laurent
Arranger/Editor: Ricquebourg, Anne
Catalog Number: GB9665
Pages: 8