Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Electronic Dance Music

more avant-garde music made for ballet!

compiled by Cacophonic / Finders Keepers / Andy Votel and released back in 2014

I'm always surprised that people don't send this kind of thing to me, or at least tip me off - given that i'd be fairly certain to review it somewhere, or at least give it a plugg on the blogg -


1 –Henk Badings Arioso
Choreography – Jan Zielstra
from "Cain & Abel" choreographed 1956

2 –Lasry-Baschet* Ballet Jeux D'ombres
Choreography – Jean Guelis
from "Jeux D'Ombres" choreographed 1959

3 –Alwin Nikolais Glymistry
Choreography – Alwin Nikolais
from "Prism" choreographed 1956

4 –Remi Gassmann Scherzo
Choreography – Georges Balanchine*
from "Electronics" choreographed 1961

5 –Pierre Henry Tam Tam
Choreography – Maurice Béjart
from "Orphée" choreographed 1958 / 1962

6 –Karl-Birger Blomdahl The Yurg / The Mimarobe
Choreography – Birgit Åkesson
excerpts from "Aniara" choreographed 1959

7 –Henk Badings Ragtime
Choreography – Yvonne Georgi
from "Evolutions" choreographed 1961

8 –Jean-Claude Vannier L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches Sur La Plage
Choreography – René Goliard
from "La Lucarne Magique" choreographed 1971

9 –Henk Badings Konflikt
Choreography – Jan Zielstra
from "Cain & Abel" choreographed 1956

10 –Lasry-Baschet* Ballet Du Soho 5:57
from "Ballet Du Soho" unknown choreographer 1959

11 –Igor Wakhevitch* Danse Sacrale
Choreography – Norbert Schmucki
from "Logos" choreographed 1970

12 –Alwin Nikolais Aeolus
Choreography – Alwin Nikolais
from "The Steve Allen Show" choreographed 1959

13 –Jean-Claude Vannier Le Ballet Des Accoucheuses 2:00
from "Le Ballet Des Accoucheuses", unknown choreographer

14 –Pierre Henry Transfiguration
Choreography – Maurice Béjart
from "Orphée" choreographed 1958/1962

There's loads more examples of the avant-garde dance / avant-garde music crossover

e.g. this dude

Commissioned by the San Francisco Ballet Company. Premiered at the San Francisco Opera House April 1967. Performed on national tour and at the Palace of Fine Arts 1972 and by the San Francisco Dance Spectrum at Grace Cathedral 1971 - 1972.

review by me here (of the reissue, not the original performance, when i was 3 and three quarters)

Bruce Levenstein chips in with a suggestion: 

You used to be able to hear a bit of "The Reprieve" here -  where I borrowed this chunk of text below - but alas no more: 

In an interview [Mitchell, C.J. 'Warmth a characteristic of Ann Southam's electronic music,' MSc , 269, Jan-Feb 1973]  Southam spoke of her interest in collaborating with choreographers to create modern dance works rather than ballet, in which visual patterns often replace audible ones. In modern dance the music and dancers work independently and in conjunction, creating tensions that are doubly suggestive and effective. She has also explored composing to existing choreography and this has allowed her the opportunity to deal with what she refers to as "chance relationships".

An example of Southam electronic music used for modern dance is The Reprieve (1976), which was choreographed by Patricia Beatty for Toronto Dance Theatre.

Ann Southam was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1937 but has lived most of her life in Toronto. After completing musical studies at the University of Toronto and the Royal Conservatory of Music, Ann began a teaching and composing career which has included a long and productive association with modern dance. As well as creating music for some of Canada's major modern dance companies and choreographers including The Toronto Dance Theatre, Danny Grossman, Dancemakers, Patricia Beatty, Christopher House and Rachel Browne, she has been an instructor in electronic music at the Royal Conservatory of Music and has participated in many "composer-in-the-classroom" programs.

While much of her work has been electroacoustic music on tape, she has become increasingly interested in music for acoustic instruments. She has composed concert music for a variety of acoustic instruments and ensembles, working with such artists and ensembles as Eve Egoyan, Beverley Johnston and Arraymusic. Southam is a member of the Canadian Music Centre, the Canadian League of Composers and a founding member of the Association of Canadian Women Composers.

Then there is this favorite of mine by Daria Semegen and Bulent Arel (not collaborating but sharing an album)

Semegen's Arc: Music for Dancers, for electronics (1977)

The piece consists of five parts whose themes, tempos, and "orchestrations" are arranged in the shape of an arc (A B C B A). Each section is itself divided into a smaller arc (a b a). After a brief introduction of phrases in groups of three beats each, the first part begins with two motivic elements arranged in a simple question-answer idea: lower range sounds on the beat, and contrasting high echoed flourishes in alternation. Section B introduces both a new tempo and "orchestration" or sound texture, as well as a new motive featuring a tremolo effect on harsh sounds alternated in various patterns from one channel to the other. A six note ostinato appears toward the middle of this section and is gradually integrated into a polyphonic pasage. Section C's theme resembles an orchestral "tutti" and is followed by a variation of the tremolo idea and echo figurations heard previously. Although the music is essentially tonal and establishes various temporary tonal centers throughout, microtones and the characteristically rich textures of electronic sound sources provide dissonant impressions counterbalancing the tonal aspects. The work was composed using a Buchla series 200 synthesizer and classic studio techniques. The music tape was synchronized at Bell Telephone Labs with the program of the Mimi Garrard Dance Theatre's portable computer-controlled lighting system by Mimi Ganard and James Seawright in preparation for Arc's first presentation in May of 1977. --Daria Semegen

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