Glances (1976)


1976 | 15 min
Orchestration by Darius Brubeck
Commissioned by the Murray Louis Dance Company
New York Premiere: February 10, 1977, Beacon Theater, New York, NY; Murray Dance Company / Darius Brubeck Ensemble

A ballet in four movements
I.   Overture
II.  Blue Aria
III. Struttin’
IV. Doing the Charleston

Glances was commissioned by the Murray Louis Dance Company, and had a most unorthodox method of composition. When asked to write the music for the ballet, the choreography for the four movements (“Overture,” “Struttin’,” “Blue Aria,” and “Doing the Charleston”) had already been completed, the steps synchronized to the counts of drum beats. My music had to fit these dance movements. Before I could write a note, I watched the ballet on a “moviola,” over and over, counted and watched and counted some more, until it was firmly embedded in my brain. This is no way to write a ballet! To this day, when I listen to the music of Glances, I see the dancers in my mind’s eye.”
-Dave Brubeck, 1995