BLUEPRINT: for orchestral improvisation & spontaneous ballet

by Jordan Hall

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What might an improvised ballet look and sound like?

Improvisation may be a defining feature of genres such as jazz and blues, but with rare exception, it is foreign to symphonic music. Historical reasons aside, there are practical reasons for this that become apparent as soon as you attempt to turn a symphony orchestra into an improvising ensemble. Quite simply, it presents novel challenges – and these only multiply when you add improvising dancers into the mix. Nevertheless, when I was asked to compose a ballet, the question of improvisation lingered in my mind, and BLUEPRINT emerged as a playful response to that question. I have composed this ballet to create a context for possibilities. Each movement, distinct in flavor, has been structured to enable cued improvisations throughout. My aim is simple: to grant dancers and orchestra the freedom to spontaneously create in response to each other.

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released September 25, 2019

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