Dance Craze was commissioned as an encore for a concert of “dance music.” I wanted to compose a piece that engaged the other music on the program, but rather than just refer to the other pieces, I decided to write my own dance piece.
I somehow formed an image of an awkward person trying to dance seductively, and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. The dancer then turns those awkward steps into something new and successful. The entire work springs from the opening phrase in the violins, which is an angular descending scale. This phrase is vaguely reminiscent of a moment from Ravel’s La Valse (also on the program). Dance Craze builds frenetically, becoming increasingly possessed with visceral, tactile energy in a dance of notes, rhythms and colors