Inclusive approaches, shared embodied knowledge, and transgressive experimentation; The Freestyle Orchestra’s journey to Sydney with Ross Edwards’ Maninyas violin concerto.

Chanda VanderHart & Sonja Schebeck

In June 2019 The Freestyle Orchestra, a collective of classical musicians, headlined at City Recital Hall in Sydney, performing two modern violin concertos to a full house — a feat in itself. Within the performance the ensemble — besides playing their instruments — tumbled, swung from rigging, danced, improvised, handbalanced and spat fire, collectively blurring the performance aesthetics of contemporary circus and classical music.

This performance was the culmination and dissemination of their ongoing research process which pushes the physical and disciplinary limits of what classical musicians do, explores how to share the movement and aesthetic they perceive in some music with a broader audience, and questions how embodied knowledge transfers/translates across disciplines.