Trumpeter Tom Harrell's Music Moves Choreographer Michele Wiles to, Well, Move

harrel pic
photo Emilie Pons

From time to time, I invite a guest blogger to fill this space. The last time I ran into Emilie Pons, she had her camera around her neck and she had good things to say about a collaboration between trumpeter Tom Harrell, a uniquely expressive presence in jazz, and choreographer Michele Wiles. Pons asked if I could use some of her photos. I told her to write the short piece you’ll find below.
When choreographer Michele Wiles heard trumpeter Tom Harrell for the first time, she felt touched by his music and compelled to work with him. Wiles then set about creating choreography for her contemporary ballet company, BalletNext, to two Harrell compositions, “Baroque Steps” and “Trances.” In early November, a few months after hearing Harrell lead his band at Manhattan’s Village Vanguard, she presented her intepretations in collaboration with him at New York Live Art Theater. The program, titled “Apogee in 3,” included a third piece—an improvisation for which she responded to the sound of Harrell’s trumpet with her body and he, in turn, to her movements.
“What drew me to Tom’s music is an emotional energy,” Wiles said. “I just felt every note he and his quintet played expresses how I want to dance—with my soul.” Continue reading “Trumpeter Tom Harrell's Music Moves Choreographer Michele Wiles to, Well, Move”