julie’s waltz


It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

I haven’t had a day off for several days and this morning I am feeling it. It’s a beautiful bright fall day in Western Michigan. I have been trying to convince myself that I am indeed getting some time off for the next three days. It is true. I’m just having difficulty relaxing into it.

On Monday, I was playing Pointe class.

We were doing an unstructured stretch time for the dancers. The instructor will sometimes walk them through stretches. Sometimes the instructors just tells them to take some time and stretch. If the instructor asks me, I then play. The music is not only mood music for the moment. I provide regular phrases which allows alert dancers to time their stretches evenly.

As I played Monday, the instructor, Julie Powell, began dancing and smiling at me. After a while, she indicated I should stop and told us she had an idea. For the next class project, we should all collaborate on a little piece together. I would make up the music. The dancers with the instructor’s help would make  up the moves.

She asked me if I was game. I was.

The dancers sat in a circle and brainstormed what the dance should be like.

The instructor asked each student to come up with at least one word to describe the kind of dance they would envision.

I wrote them down.

First they decided this would not be a “character piece,” rather a “mood piece.” We had just spent a lot of time with a “character piece” called Esmeralda which involved tambourines and a famous piece of ballet music (of which I had never head, but found online).

So instead of dancing like a character in a ballet story, the dance would be mood bsed.

Here are the words the dancers came up with.




Happy romance





I thought this was fun. A tall order, really.

So yesterday I was madly trying to pull together my compositional thoughts I had been having.

I came with a piece finishing just before class yesterday.


I just took an hour or so and made a video and uploaded it so you could hear it if you want.

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