The Studio - Dance

“Dancing is music made visible... See the music, hear the dance.”

George Balanchine, choreographer

Music and dance have always been intertwined, and much of the London Philharmonic Orchestra's own repertoire comes from our composers writing for the ballet stage. In our 2017-18 season, dance comes to the fore as we celebrate the work of Igor Stravinsky - arguably the greatest composer for dance of the 20th century, whose work continues to stimulate new choreography and inspire composers of all genres.

Recent dance collaborations include the LPO's work with choreographer Aakash Odedra, whose choreography for Ravi Shakar's Sukanya was drawn from Indian classical dance styles. Our ongoing relationship with Rambert has brought contemporary dance and music together in our LPO Soundworks intensive projects over three years. We are looking forward to our next collaboration in April 2018 - details of how to sign up to take part in the project will be announced in the autumn.

In this section of The Studio we invite you to "see the music, hear the dance" by gaining insights from professionals in the business, and trying your hand at composing for choreography.




Playlist: Greatest Composers for Dance
Mark Bowden is a composer of chamber, orchestral and vocal music. A dance background and long-standing interest in the art-form has resulted in frequent collaboration with choreographers, and a stint as Music Fellow at contemporary dance company, Rambert.  Mark joined us at our LPO Soundworks Spotlight Day in October 2016, which focused on music and dance, and gave some insights into the relationship between these creative art forms.


Greatest Composers For Dance

Videos in the playlist:

• Mark Bowden's favourite works for dance
• Mark Bowden on Stravinsky


Creative Area

Playlist: Creative brief 1 – Compose music for a silent dance duet, with guidance on how to approach the brief
Using this playlist, we invite young composers to create music for a short piece of choreography, performed by two dancers from Quicksilver, Rambert's youth dance company. The first video in the playlist is the dance itself, completely silent and ready for your music. The second video features composer Shirley J Thompson discussing the dance, and how she might approach composing for it. You can use this guidance to inform your own composition, or ignore it completely! Following this video, we have included responses to the brief.

Creative brief 1: Compose for silent dance duet

Videos in the playlist:

• Creative brief 1: silent dance duet
• Creative brief 1: Approaching the brief
• Creative brief 1: Response 1 - LPO Soundworks East Sussex Ensemble