choreographers and composers
Sat, 10 Jan 1998 19:56:10 -0500 (EST)

On 6/1/98 Nick wrote:

Second question: why is it so common for choreographers to commission
composers to collaborate with, and so rare for composers to commission
choreographers? In the former case, is it because the dance is more
important than the music? Can true, equal, collaborations ever emerge
from commissions?

Nick, I respond as a choreographer. In my experience dance performance is
almost always accompanied by music - how many dance programmes or works have
you seen without any music/sound? It is far more widely accepted that a
piece of music can be performed independently of any other art form or
content than a piece of dance. Even though Cunningham and other have proved
that dance can be made independently of music, very few take it to the
logical conclusion of totally unaccompanied dance; most choreographers still
apparently feel the need for some aural accompaniment to their dance most of
the time, and therefore the intitiative for dance/music collaboration tends
to come from the dance end - and also the funding. That is not to say that
the collaboration cannot be on a very equal footing if that is the way
choreographer and composer want to work.

Thanks for your CD which I received through The Place Dance Services; I
listened with interest and found some of the sound worlds you created very
atmospheric. It would have been good to have included a longer piece to
show how you develop musical structure over time.