Dance Portraits

Programme Note

When Ravel first showed Diaghilev La Valse, which Diaghilev had commissioned for Ballets Russes, Diaghilev famously described the piece as ‘not a ballet but a portrait of a ballet’. In the same spirit, Dance Portraits, a brief and lively piece for large ensemble, contains not dances but portraits of dances.

‘Edward Nesbit’s Dance Portraits appealed greatly. It starts with a slow pas de deux between double bass and bass flute proceeding in the space of a few minutes into four sections. Dance as strategic game, figure shadowing one another. Good ideas, here.’ (Classical Iconoclast, 19th June 2010)


18th June 2010
Britten-Pears Composers Ensemble, Hugh Brunt (Conductor)
Britten Studio, Snape Maltings

6th December 2009
Riot Ensemble, Aaron Holloway-Nahum (Conductor)
Music Hall, Guildhall School of Music and Drama

13th July 2009
Britten-Pears Composers Ensemble, Ryan Wigglesworth (Conductor)
Britten Studio, Snape Maltings

Year: 2009
Duration: 3′
Instrumentation: Mixed Ensemble (1(=picc+afl).1.1(=bcl).1(=cbsn) – – perc(1): 3 T.B./tri/B.D./susp.cymb – hp – pno –
Commission: Written for the Britten-Pears Contemporary Composition and Performance Course 2009.