Dangerous Conception (1995)

Duration: 7’
For piano and pre-recorded track.
Choreography: Quang Kien Van
First performed at the Kenneth More Theatre, Ilford as part of the 1995 Ballet Central National tour

Talented choreographic students have always found a voice in Ballet Central programmes. Independent dance artist, Quang Kien Van created Dangerous Conception to a specially commissioned score by Philip Feeney in his graduating year at Central School of Ballet. In addition it was selected as one of the inaugural pieces for Peter William’s Design for Dance programme, operated by the Central St. Martin’s College of Arts and Designs.

Dangerous Conception was a forceful and ominous piece that dealt with the mystery of human conception as an inherently biologically competitive phenomenon. 

The music reflects this deep sense of disquiet, driven along by an octave bass figure, much loved by Feeney, and derived no doubt from his powerful accompaniment of Martha Graham technique dance classes. Such left hand riffs occur throughout Feeney’s music, such as in the Concept of Entropy (2001).

The track was created on a Korg X3, expanded and modified by the SPX950 audio effects range. To this live voices were added, creating the three different aural dimensions of: live human performance, the human recorded voice, contrasting with the machine-like quality of the digital sounds.

The singers on the track were Amanda Light and Amy Freston - for Amy, this was but the first of many contributions to Feeney’s scores, not only for Ballet Central but also for Scottish Dance Theatre, and the recording for Adam Cooper’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

Fourteen years later Quang Kien Van and Philip Feeney re-established their collaboration with Quang’s Patient 319 for the Step Out Arts’ British East Asian Choreographers’ Development Scheme.