Dance with Augusta Read Thomas
This is music that is always in motion, as if coming perpetually out of a magician’s hat. It leads but doesn’t direct, and is playful and subtle, dancing on light feet. It is music that conjures. — Huffington Post
The sonorous compositions of Augusta Read Thomas synthesize music with movement as if she were at once both a composer and a choreographer. Her oeuvre encompasses works for orchestra, percussion ensemble, voices, and chamber groups, and she infuses each unique piece with unbridled passion and fierce lyricism, drawing upon multiple musical and poetic influences. Please enjoy the following playlist of works by Thomas, which offer unlimited inspiration for dance creativity.
I dance when I compose. I like my music to feel organic, self-propelled — as if we listeners are overhearing (capturing) an un-notated, spontaneously embodied improvisation. Music and dance must be alive; they have to jump off the page and out of the instrument and body as if something big is at stake. I work hard to ensure that my music dances and love dance that is musical. — Augusta Read Thomas
Thomas’s most recent score for dance, The Auditions, was commissioned by Martha Graham Dance Company and realized in close collaboration with New York City Ballet soloist and choreographer Troy Schumacher. Other works specifically crafted for dance include EOS (Goddess of the Dawn), Helios Choros I–III, Terpsichore’s Dream, and Selene (Moon Chariot Rituals) for ensembles of percussion and strings or percussion and winds.
Behind the scenes creation of The Auditions for Martha Graham Dance Company:
2020 Peak HD Artists Talk Series featuring Thomas:
The MISSION:COMMISSION podcast features Thomas discussing her composition process from commission to performance:
Augusta Read Thomas is a University Professor of Composition in Music at The University of Chicago. Former Chairperson of the American Music Center, she has become one of the most recognizable and widely loved figures in American Music.
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