Le danseur Yngve Horn en 1955
Le danseur Yngve Horn en 1955  /  Wikipedia

Composers To Make You Dance

Composers have been composing music to make us dance since the Baroque period. Whether you like to Waltz or perform ballet ... Here are some of the composers that make us want to dance.

1 and 2 and 3 and... The rhythm of the dance, innate or not, has always been a source of inspiration for composers. Here is a closer look at some of the most important works influenced by dance.

A March by Lully

This march is taken from the Bourgeois Gentilhomme by Molière. As in many of Molière's comedies, he employs parody, and everything from the rhythm to the orchestration is exaggerated. It is hard to resist dancing to this piece. In the Baroque period, almost all composers wrote for dance, but Lully himself a good dancer, placed a great deal of focus on this. He wanted to make Louis XIV dance!

The Symphonic Works of Beethoven

When you say "dance and music", most people would not immediately think of Beethoven. The composer does however definitely deserve a place in this selection. He wrote extremely musical minuets, waltzes, allemandes and ländlers, but it is in his symphonies that dancing rhythms are most present. Particularly in last movement of the 7th Symphony, which fills the audience with the desire to get up and dance (though most resign themselves to moving in their seat).

Bartok, Innate Rhythm 

Bartok composed a number of dances but his innate sense of rhythm is reflected in all of his compositions, in particular when he writes for the piano. Some performers overplay these pieces, but if it makes you want to dance, then why not?

Tchaikovsky, A Classic  

It is impossible not to think of The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake when you hear the name Tchaikovsky. It would be reductive to define the composer by these three ballets, but they are performed all over the world and with good reason! Everybody knows the Dance of the Cygnets from Swan Lake, but also the music! 

Stravinsky, Dance and Indecency  

Let's stay in Russia to talk about a composer who has done a lot for dance. We should think about Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, The Firebird, Petrushka and Pulcinella. The Russian composer has inspired many choreographers and exhausted more than one dancer performing to his rhythmic, almost trance-like music.

Steve Reich, though not by choice

Though his music was not written for dance, many choreographers have been inspired by the works of Steve Reich, including Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. His repetitive, heady music, makes the perfect accompaniment to movement and has given birth to legendary choreography. 

Let's Dance with Arturo Márquez

Mexican composer Arturo Márquez's work Danzon 2 could get anyone on the dance floor with its intense rhythms.

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