published Monday, January 9th, 2012

Off the Couch: CSO will be doing Ravel’s 'Bolero'

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera will be doing Ravel’s “Bolero” this week. The mere mention of this piece brings to mind a certain movie and a certain actress and a certain hairstyle. Did you ever cornrow your hair and cover your head in beads?

LISA DENTON: No, but I did roll it in corncobs once. Does that count?

You would, of course, be speaking about the movie “10” with Bo Derek. Her famous question, “Did you ever do it to Ravel’s ‘Bolero,’” brings to mind the piece’s tempo and duration — a gradual crescendo, building up over 15 to 18 minutes.

BARRY: Of course. The CSO is doing “Bolero,” as well as four other Ravel pieces, Saturday at the Tivoli, and there are just some pieces that are immediately associated with a film or television show other than what they were originally intended. You can’t hear “The Ride of Valkyries” without thinking of either “Apocalypse Now” or the Bugs Bunny “Kill the wabbit” scene from “What’s Opera, Doc?” It’s hard to hear “The William Tell Overture” without thinking of “The Lone Ranger.”

I seriously doubt Ravel had anything like Bo Derek in mind when he wrote “Bolero,” but who knows. He was male.

LISA: You know what else is happening next weekend? The cheerleaders will be here. The Chattanooga event is one of four platinum championships presented by Athletic Championships, a Knoxville-based company. It’s held every January over the M.L. King holiday weekend and attracts something like 5,000 dancers and cheerleaders competing for titles.

Even if you don’t go to watch the routines at the Chattanooga Convention Center, you’ll probably see them around town. They’re a lot like the Cheerios on “Glee” in that they wear their spirit gear wherever they go.

BARRY: Downtown should be a spirited place next weekend.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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