For live piano and pre-recorded track
Part of the Ballet Central National Tour of 2009
First performed at the Kenneth More Theatre, Ilford
Choreographed by Mikaela Polley
Violin parts played by Maya Bickel
Cello parts played by Patrick Jones
In this intense short work, the ex-Birmingham Royal Ballet and Rambert dancer and choreographer, Mikaela Polley, chose to highlight the contemporary but with the girls on pointe. The music was written in the autumn of 2008, with choreographer sometimes getting ahead of the music. The score was finished in Berlin in late November.
The piece opens in silence, but from the moment the music starts, a short syncopated musical phrase, first heard on the violin is reiterated from start to finish, varying in length alternating mostly between 5 and 6. But this is not hard-core minimalism; the tag, or riff perhaps we could call it, not only alters length but moves from one instrument to another, while the music moves imperceptibly from one section to another, building to a strong climax and a sudden end.
The multi-metric nature of this score proved to be one of its trickier elements, not so much for the dancers as for trying to keep the synchronization of the live piano with the pre-recorded track; once the live piano became dislocated from the track, there was no getting back in. To avoid this, a complicated and intricate click track had to be constructed, notable not only for its complexity but also for its otherwise humourous variety of sounds, including things like shakers and cowbells. Of course none of that was to be heard by the audience.
photo by Bill Cooper