Danses Naturelles | Natural Dances

Danses Naturelles marks my continued exploration of live video performance, this time using acoustic piano to control the video mix. A computer software program monitors the level of sound generated by my piano playing, and renders the video in relationship to those levels. The piano is situated at the edge of an enveloping projection, where images from the natural world—leaves, grass, shadow and sunlight—combine with vintage film sequences of a young woman performing a modest striptease in a nightclub.


In some ways, the piece is a whimsical footnote to the many years I spent as a ballet class accompanist. The familiar relationships between pianist and dancer, music and movement here intersect in wry commentary. Like a snake charmer, I conjure the dancer, seducing her from the shadows. She insists, however, on dancing to her own tune. Danses Naturelles is dance class accompaniment imagined by a pianist who has been compliant for too long.

The piece received its premiere at Djerassi Resident Artists Program in March 2015.

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