Learn more about the music of northrop’s 2019-20 fall dance performances

Sep 27, 2019

Northrop’s 2019-20 Fall Series opens on Sep 28, so what better way to prepare than to immerse yourself in the music integrated in the performances? Delve deeper into what you’ll hear at Northrop’s upcoming programs. Educate your ears on a dazzling season with styles spanning jazz, Irish and Nordic folk, classical, live drumming, hip-hop, and more, telling the stories of choreographed work through sound.




Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
Sat, Sep 28

The Great Gatsby

Celebrated film and television composer Carl Davis revives the roaring 20s, “simmering era of jazz” in his score for Jorden MorrisThe Great Gatsby. The score combines numerous styles, linking dance tunes and Americana-style fanfares with waltzes, foxtrots, and bluesy, jazz-inflected sounds. Davis also notably wrote a score for a 2000 television adaptation of The Great Gatsby. The score will be played by a live, 27-piece orchestra made up of local Twin Cities musicians..

Prepare yourself for Davis’ “sweepingly cinematic” score by listening to this WQED radio interview and catch a preview of the score played on piano by Davis himself.


Dorrance Dance
Sat, Oct 19

Jungle Blues
Three to One

Considering the inherently musical art of tap dance, choreographer Michelle Dorrance created an integral and collaborative experience in the creation of Myelination’s score. Brooklyn-based duo Prawn Til Dante (comprised of Michelle’s brother Donovan Dorrance and Gregory Richardson), actively participated in a majority of Dorrance Dance’s rehearsals while working to develop music to sync harmoniously with the choreography and energy of Myelination, and vice versa. This score flaunts energetic pulses and jazzy solos, rhythmic piano, meditative drones, and melodic bass lines, offering a complimentary companion to the percussive craft of tap dance.

Other featured songs in this program are ragtime and early jazz composer Jelly Roll Morton’s Jungle Blues (played by Branford Marsalis Quartet), Thom Yorke’s A Rat’s Nest, and Nannou by Aphex Twin.

Listen to the Dorrance Dance’s mixed repertory program playlist.


Teac Damsa
Thu-Sun, Oct 24 - 27
Walker Art Center

Swan Lake/Loch na hEala

Dublin-based band Slow Moving Clouds was commissioned by Teaċ Daṁsa to create an original score for choreographer Michael Keegan-Dolan’s Swan Lake/Loch na hEala in 2016. The string-heavy score was built on the band’s critically acclaimed album, Os (compared to the work of Icelandic post-rock legends Sigur Rós), premiered at the 2016 Dublin Theatre Festival, and was awarded Best Production at the 2017 Irish Theatre Awards. Made up of three members on nyckelharpa, vocals, fiddle, and cello, Slow Moving Clouds brings together roots in the Irish and Nordic folk traditions with post-punk drones, baroque strings, and soaring falsetto vocals.

Listen to Slow Moving Clouds’ Swan Lake/Loch na hEala score, and hear it played live with Teaċ Daṁsa’s performance at Walker Art Center Thu, Oct 24 through Sun, Oct 27.


Black Grace
Thu, Nov 7

Kiona and the Little Bird Suite
As Night Falls - Abridged
Crying Men - Excerpts

Kiona and the Little Bird Suite utilizes body percussion influenced by traditional Samoan Sasa (seated dance) and Fa’ataupati (slap dance) incorporating singing and chanting. Black Grace commissioned new music by hip-hop legends Anonymouz (Faiumu Matthew Salapu) and Submariner (Andy Morton) for Crying Men, which drives percussively powerful movement from dancers and singers. Additional pieces include Redaction by Richard Nunns, Mark Lockett and Jeff Henderson, and narration by Nathanial Lees.

Method explores the raw and refined by combining simple images of boyhood memories with J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto no.3: II. Adagio and III. Allegro assai, arranged for guitar quartet and played by the New Zealand Guitar Quartet (watch them play the work here). Featured in As Night Falls are numerous timeless works by Vivaldi mixed with traditional hand clap percussion.

“I started working with multiple soundtracks in rehearsals. Somehow Vivaldi found a way in and stuck, I can’t quite recall how this happened. It was around this time that I decided to focus on the hope.” –– Neil Ieremia

Listen to the full Black Grace performance playlist.


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