Six Gestures

"Six Gestures" from Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach, 1997, 53 minutes
Director: Patricia Rozema
Script: Patricia Rozema
Cinematography: Andre Pienaar
Cast: Yo-Yo Ma, Tom McCamus, Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean

In "Six Gestures" (Suite No.6), ice dancers and Olympic champions Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean join Yo-Yo Ma in the last of the Suites, in which the cellist believes Bach most dramatically "stretched the envelope" of musical possibilities.  "Six Gestures" takes its inspiration directly from Bach's life and experience, as filtered through Ma's performance.  Torvill, Dean and the film's director Patricia Rozema chose a distinct gesture for each of the Suite's movements--"looking upward" in the Prelude, "looking inward" in the Allemande, "hands and feet working" in the Courante, "hand stroking the face" in the Sarabande, "mannered and courtly gestures" in the Gavotte, and "flight" or rebirth in the Gigue.