The Studio - Dance

Insights | Creative Area 

“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, from the iconic work of Igor Stravinsky, to more recent works such as Ravi Shankar's Sukanya, which returns to the Royal Festival Hall in January 2020.

Our ongoing relationship with Rambert has also brought contemporary dance and music together in our LPO Soundworks intensive projects over the last three years.

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 musical works for dance
What makes music good to dance to?  Which composers create the best music for dance?  Find out what our expert composers think in this playlist, to get ideas for your own composition for dance.


Greatest musical works for dance

Videos in the playlist:

• Shirley J Thompson's favourite works for dance
• 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
• Response 1 - LPO Soundworks East Sussex Ensemble
• Response 2 - Kate, YCP
• Response 3 - Archie, YCP
• Response 4 - Natalie, YCP
• Response 5 - Sam, YCP
• Response 6 - Ailie Robertson