Dance

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. 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.  Our latest brief invites you to create music for 'Fall to Rise', brand new choreography by Monique Jonas from New Adventures, with a chance for your piece to be performed by members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

 

Creative Area

Creative brief 3 – Compose music for 'Fall to Rise' with a chance for your composition to be played by LPO musicians
In this brief, we invite you to create music for a piece of original choreography by Monique Jonas of New Adventures, Matthew Bourne's innovative dance company. For the first time, we will be selecting compositions to be performed by LPO musicians! See below for details of how to submit your piece.

Creative Brief 3: compose for 'Fall to Rise'

Videos in the playlist:

• Creative brief 3: 'Fall to Rise' by Monique Jonas
• Creative brief 3: Approaching the brief
• Response 1 – Gavin Higgins

Creative brief 3: compose music for 'Fall to Rise'

  • • Compose your music for 'Fall to Rise', silent choreography created by Monique Jonas – the first video in this playlist.
  • • If you’d like your piece to be played by LPO musicians, you need to compose for violin, viola and cello, or just 1-2 of these instruments. For tips on how to compose for strings, watch our Composing for Strings video
  • • Send your score and any instructions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 23 October 2020
  • • Selected compositions will be played by our musicians, synced to the dance video and shared with our audiences
  • • You can also compose for other instruments or software if you prefer – we would still love to hear your compositions. If you send us audio of your composition, we will sync it to the dance and add to this playlist.
  • • 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.'
 

Playlist: Creative brief 2 – Compose music for an extract from 'Stronghold'
In this playlist, we invite you to create music to an extract from a longer piece called 'Stronghold', performed by a trio of dancers from Visual Poets, a hip hop dance crew based in Brighton, via South East Dance. You can watch the dance in the first video, with guidance and musical responses later in the playlist.

Creative Brief 2: compose for silent dance trio

Videos in the playlist:

• Creative brief 2: extract from Stronghold
• Creative brief 2: Approaching the brief
• Response 1 - LPO Soundworks East Sussex ensemble
• Response 2 - LPO Soundworks East Sussex ensemble
• Response 3 - LPO Soundworks East Sussex ensemble
• Response 4 - Max K

Creative brief 2: compose music for an extract from 'Stronghold'

  • • For tips on how to approach the brief, watch the second video in the playlist
  • • You can also  download more written guidance 
  • • What did you come up with? We would love to hear your compositions, to sync to the scene and include in our video playlist.  For this, you can use any instruments(s) or software available to you, and compose in any style you wish.
  • •  If you would like your music to be featured on the playlist, send your compositions (by email or file transfer) as audio files to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. including your name, the names of anyone else playing on your track, your age/school/college if relevant and any comments about your piece you’d like to share
 

Playlist: Creative brief 1 – Compose music for a silent dance duet
Using this playlist, we invite you 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


 

Insights

 

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