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Support for Musicians who work in Dance

Only 3 years ago a Facebook page was set up for Musicians who work in Dance. We did not know each other , but in these intervening months we have all discovered each other and become a global family. We share ideas, music and support in good and difficult times. To that end, the International Guild of Musicians in Dance will be hosting their annual conference online 1st/2nd October 2021. There is an opportunity to contribute uplifting stories for our future and urge you to join in!

Barishnykov and Music

It’s a joy to look at Baryshnykof ! I’m reposting this YouTube article I made in the summer.


Some great ideas

Well, I thought it might be time to review another of the films up there on YouTube. It’s a short I made –  looking at music for Jumps. The most confounding pieces of music to get just right for ballet class. Have a look! (Oh, and enjoy Gene Kelly too….)

YouTube hits the world of ballet pianists!

Hi. Here we are on day two of the YouTube adventure. Mariana has posted an interesting 9 minutes exploring the very first stages of accompaniment for dance. Especially ballet. Have a look and you can buy her score right here on this site too.



New YouTube Channel

It’s all the rage! Despite there being MILLIONS of youtube channels out there , very few are the best quality. Over the next few weeks I’m going to post some truly great stuff for you to reference. First of all Mariana Palacios. Her new channel looks into how to make a start (and a CAREER!) as a pianist in the world of dance. From the very beginnings. I will mix that with my Art of Class videos which take the whole concept of music and dance into the professional world. So for now. Enjoy Mariana’s BRILLIANT first  video !

Series 4 of The Crown Netflix

I hope this strange headline catches your eye!

My dear friend Robert Long (whose scores I sell on this site) has struck gold!. His music has been chosen for the Princess Diana ballet scene in Episode 3 of the new Series of The Crown. Starring Olivia Coleman and Helena Bonham Carter.

Best of Luck!

Mariana and Karen’s final chat

As always I ask each contributor where they see themselves in 10 years time. As ever Mariana has a joyful answer:


Well, I don’t really know… That’s for me impossible to say. I’m a very curious person and I love to learn and to discover new things. So maybe playing ballet classes in a great company in New York, or building a farm in Spain, or dancing folk dances in Thailandia??? 🙂 Who knows!

More from Karen and Mariana

Here we talk more about film and cultural histories in this second part of our interview:

Mariana:Moving image on film gives you a very wide range of possibilities. You can experiment with any kind of connection or even disconnection between music and moving images. But I have to mention that I find similarities in terms of dynamics and energy. In my point of view music and dance for film have to be related, connected, “moving” in the same direction, as they do it in the studio. There has to be a dialogue between them, even if the dialogue is abstract or wants to create disconnections or distortion. There has to be something in common between moving images and music that makes them to stay together, and creating a symbiosis.

Karen: Yes! I call that Universal Truth. The dimension and proportion of all Art can be Mathematical (that’s why I use Vetruvian Man as my logo) but most importantly it contains an emotional truth.

Karen: On another subject,I find musicians who come from the north (perhaps Scandinavian as opposed to Mediterranean )  have a unique sensibility of sound and music. Is there a cultural connection with folk music and nature that you bring into your compositions/improvisations? Or is it something else that you are maybe not aware of? I know you have experience of both!

Mariana: Yes?! You do too?

I’d say that I have found musicians that come from the south with also a unique sensibility of sound and music. And actually, I’m not sure what to answer to this question because I’m from Spain and I’ve been living 10 years in Sweden, haha! I think all of us we have different sensibilities and ways to approach to music and sound. Maybe I have found some differences between some music styles between the south and the north. For example, the soft, air, spacious, melancholic jazz from Scandinavia. I haven’t heard this style almost never in south musicians… Also, choir music is pretty special in the north, or I should say in Scandinavia. Folk music is amazing in Sweden, so many  beautiful melodies and harmonies. Maybe the fact that singing is more in the culture here gives more sound sensibility to musicians.

Karen: Yes. I spent a summer in Riga and Tallin and was astonished at the a cappella singing history and performance here. The ability to harness the inner ear so precisely. A great road to improvisation!

Mariana Palacios Music & Dance

Mariana Palacios chats to The Art of Class

I had the joy of interviewing Mariana this week and below you can read our ideas over the next few days:

Karen : I am intrigued by your capacity to work with film AND dance image as a musician. Do you see differences between music for Moving Image on film and music for Moving Image in the studio?

Mariana:That’s a very interesting question. I have a lot of thoughts about it. I hope I can put them in order, haha! Yes, I think that there are a lot of differences between the music for moving image in the film or in the studio. Definitely, I don’t create music for the films in the same way as I do it in the studio. In my films I’m totally free to create and to relate my music with moving image in the way that I want. In films, music and moving image are more related to a concept, to a 10-15 story that evolves and creates a whole artistic piece. Maybe playing for contemporary advance classes, or for improvisation classes, could give me the same wide space to create. If dancers in the studio, for example, start to create movement from a feeling, or from something visual, or from something abstract, maybe this could give a different approach and more diversity into my music.

Karen: So the live experience is different?

Mariana:Nowadays, I’m playing a lot for ballet classes for students, and this is for me a very different approach of how I create music in the studio. Rules are precise and the students need the support from my music, so I definitely approach in a very concrete way. I adapt and follow the teacher’s indications, and then I play to support the students and the teacher, and of course, give them inspiration and create a good flow with the music.

Next blog, we talk about how music supports anatomy and choreography. Enjoy!