A Game of Chance (1988)

Duration: 11’
For piano and pre-recorded track
Choreography: Michael Pink
Lighting Design: Mark Grabiec
First performed as part of the 1988 Ballet Central National tour.

It was halfway through the creation of the neo-classical narrative ballet, A Game of Chance, that choreographer, Michael Pink, envisaged the concept of a trilogy. While clearly from the same stable as The Family Picture (1987) he saw that the story of a young man, torn between the choice of two women and in the power of the demonic dealer of cards, could be the story of the son from the previous year’s piece.

The structure is much the same as the earlier piece, with an initial soundworld intersecting live piano pieces, in this case two pas de deuxs. There is then a longer pas de quatre where the young man is torn between choices. As a piece of theatre, it is a harder work than The Family Picture; the music is more dissonant, particularly in the relentless finale with it signature woodblock four-note knocking motif.

The track was created on a Revox by Mark Grabiec at the recording studios at the old Place. The recorded piano that helps to create the eerie atmosphere of the dealing of the cards is an upright muted piano, but the piano at the Place had no mute, so we put a jumper between the hammers and the strings to create a weird distant sound.