Code (2012)

Duration: 7’ 30”
Electronic score with live delay piano 
Choreography: Sharon Watson
Design: Richard Gellar
Lighting Design: Ed Railton
First performed at the Hertford Theatre, Hertford in March 2012 as part of the Ballet Central National tour

For the 2012 national tour, Ballet Central was delighted to commission a new work by one of Britain’s leading choreographers, Sharon Watson, artistic director of Pheonix Dance Theatre. Code, set to a driving urban electronic score by Philip Feeney, is a strong and powerful work for six dancers, inspired by the idea of human communication, and its increased rapidity and multiplicity in the modern dislocated world.

Appropriately the music is multi-textured and powerful, with audio delay and echo effects featuring heavily. It is as if messages are sent from the live piano to those on the audio track via a kind of code that needs to be interpreted far down the other end of the line. Because the delay is always at an interval of three quavers there is a constant melée of cross rhythms and cross-phrasing giving an overriding impression of a constant cross chatter. 

Although there is a quieter middle section, the dynamic momentum is never truly interrupted; it continues unabated not only until the end of the piece, but beyond it, as the notes of the last musical gesture echo down the line into the distance.

Code was selected for performance at the Olympic Park in London as part of the Cultural Olympiad for London 2012.