For Rental or Perusal

G. Schirmer, Inc
180 Madison Avenue, 24th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Email: Rachel Sokolow
Tel: 212-254-2100
Fax: 212-254-2013

Personal Manager for conducting & Performing

Tammy Moore
Email: Tammy Moore
Tel: 917-612-9364

Just Dance (2009)

A Ballet
I. Jubilant
II. Reminiscent
III. All Out

Program Note

Just Dance was a ballet score commissioned by the New York City Ballet. It calls for two flutes, one piccolo, two oboes, one English horn in F, three clarinets in Bb (the third doubles bass clarinet in Bb), two bassoons, one contra-bassoon, four French horns in F, three trumpets in C, two tenor trombones, one bass trombone, one tuba, four timpani, four percussionists (playing glockenspiel, crotales, vibraphone, marimba, four cowbells, four temple blocks, two bangos [high and low], two congas [high and low], small Peking Opera gong, wind gong, large tamtam, slapstick, guiro, low bass drum), piano (also doubles celesta), harp, and strings. The premiere of the ballet, with a choreography by Peter Martins, is scheduled for spring 2011. This performance marks the concert world premiere of the work.

Just Dance is my second ballet score, written for Peter Martins and the New York City Ballet where I served as its first Composer-in-Residence in 2006 and 2007. My prior attempt of a ballet, The Nightingale and Rose, was written for the choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. Even though the ballet was well-received partly owing to the elegant choreography aptly set to the music, I feel the score could have been more ‘dance like’. Thus, my major challenge for writing Just Dance was to maintain a strong rhythmic pulsation for all three movements while keeping the music varied and refresh.

Whereas the three movements in this non-fiction ballet score were conceived with a broad structure in mind, the basic materials in each one are varied. Jubilant was taken from classical Chinese instrumental music, while Reminiscent has a tinge of central Asian influence. In All Out, I just wrote whatever came into my mind that I considered fit for the concluding movement.

—Bright Sheng