Throughout the history of performance, developments in music and dance have been inseparable. From theatrical pagan festivals of the Ancient Greeks to the extravagant Masques of the 17th century European courts; from the great collaborations between Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa in Imperial Russia, to the extraordinary interdisciplinary artistic output of the Ballet Russes and their collaborators, many of our most famous and beloved music was originally composed for dance.
In this project, we invite you to create your own piece of music for dance. Monique Jonas, from Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, has created ‘Fall to Rise’ especially for this project, and in this article you will find lots of tips and advice to help you create an original score for this new piece of contemporary choreography.
‘Fall to Rise’ by Monique Jonas
Here is Monique’s description of how she created the dance. This may inspire your compositional approach:
The core idea around the movement was the connection between rising and falling. The core motif is driven by the many ways our breath can help the body to rise and fall in a variety of different ways. The shorter movements mimic that of a gasp, whilst some of the more sustained moments can show some more intentional breath. I was also intrigued by the common saying, ‘what goes up, must come down’ and how that can relate to the concept of rising and falling. I played with this through more sustained ‘landings’ and contrasted with a few dynamic landings and then playing with shifting the body closer to and further away from the floor.
‘Fall to Rise’ by Gavin Higgins
Composer Gavin Higgins created a response to this choreography, and explains his creative process in the interview below. Watch it to get some helpful advice for approaching this task.
You can hear Gavin’s score in full here, with the remaining videos in the playlist featuring compositions created by young musicians, performed by members of the LPO.
'Fall to Rise' - Responses from teenage composers