Ex Cathedra is the Birmingham-based choral group that has sung its way around the world.
This week it joined with the Quebecois company of Cas Public to deliver a striking and sombre collaboration for one night only at the International Dance Festival in the city. And, as a guest performer, the classically trained Indian Kathak dancer Aakash Odedra added an Eastern flavour to the evening.
The massed singers, the raw power of the Canadian troupe and the elegance of the Kathak dance all worked wonders on the bare starkly-lit stage of Symphony Hall – not a usual venue for human movement. It usually plays host to the CBSO, MOR rock and recitals .
But the work needed space simply because of the sheer numbers involved and Symphony Hall could offer that. And one other thing: an organ for Durufle’s haunting Requiem written just after WW2.
It’s not often, it has to be said, that a dance performance engages with the big organs. The instrument can overwhelm the ears, drown out the subtle. But the verve and tango-like intimacy of the dancers gave the evening balance. Augmented, of course, by Ex Cathedra’s fine range of voices.
more on the month long festival: idfb.co.uk