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Carmen Dances

for guitar and orchestra

Year:  2002   ·  Duration:  23m

Year:  2002
Duration:  23m

Jack Body

Composer:   Jack Body

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Jack Body: Carmen Dances - ...

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These dances are extracted from a larger work, Songs and Dances of Death & Desire, conceived as a tribute to the life and personality of Carmen Rupe, Maori transvestite, high-club owner, exotic dancer, drag queen, Wellington mayoral candidate, etc.

This suite of cabaret dances (intended to be danced by a young male Maori, representing Carmen Rupe), comprise 'character pieces' based on quotation and pastiche, a process of assuming new personae, donning masks, musically speaking. Just as the dancer adopts various characters, the guitarist transforms his instrument variously into a flamenco guitar, an African mbira (thumb piano), an Arabic tar (long-necked lute), a Hawaiian slide guitar, and an electronic disco machine.

Performance history

25 Oct 2002: Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, cond. James Judd, Slava Grigoryan (guitar); Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington