NewMusicBox asks: Can music for dance stand alone?

Guy Klucevsek Guy Klucevsek
“Just about all the music I have written for dance (over 25 scores) can stand alone as concert music; and the brunt of the repertoire that I play in concert, both solo and with chamber groups and bands, is music that I originally composed for dance…”
Paul Dresher Paul Dresher
“I feel a great freedom to use composition for dance as a testing ground for developing new ideas and typically, some of ideas first developed in the dance form will beg for further exploration and will end up in works (recorded or performed) that don’t require the dance in any way…”
Bun-Ching Lam Bun-Ching Lam
“I have collaborated with three choreographers on four different projects and I have learned and benefited a great deal from each of them. It has stretched my imagination, expanded my vocabulary, and put me in position to try things that I won’t normally do…”
Margaret Fairlie-Kennedy Margaret Fairlie-Kennedy
“For me, an avid dance lover, writing music for dance should be an in-depth collaboration with the choreographer. In the mutually achieved entity neither dance nor music is subservient; the music, however, should be able to stand alone…”
Behzad Ranjbaran Behzad Ranjbaran
“It is an exciting opportunity when a composer is commissioned to write for dance since dancers are some of the most open-minded champions of new music…”
Alice Shields Alice Shields
“I would say first that yes, I compose my music for dance so that it will also work as an independent piece of music. The challenge in writing music for dance, as I see it, is to leave psychological and sensory ‘space’ in the music in which the dance can maintain its own power and presence…”
Barbara White Barbara White
“I rarely expect a dance score to stand alone. In my dance/opera Life in the Castle, the music and dance are extremely interdependent: for example, the singer and the dancer depict aspects of a single character, and the cold, glassy sound of my instrumentation is reflected by mirrored objects in the set…”