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Elle ne dansera plus

For Orchestra

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Specifications
Region
Europe
Estimated Duration
11 - 15min
Date
2020

ISMN : 979-0-2325-4419-9

Notes on this piece

ELLE NE DANSERA PLUS (2020) - for Orchestra

11 minutes

 

Program Note 

When we think of Salome, we conjure images of the femme fatale, a erotised biblical figure and the predatory woman, decadent, scandalous and sadomasochistic ideals of the late-19th century that is difficult to reconcile with today’s modern day views. While analysing the text of Wilde, I noticed a running theme of “looking” that is very important in the play. Interdiction, and social protocol is also an important element in Wilde’s portrayal of Salome. While the men desired an idealised version of Salome “little dove”, “pale as the moon”. The real Salome sexually awakened by John the Baptist paints a very different picture of who she truly is.  

I transported this idea into the orchestral world by creating a strong emotional pull in 2 different directions, representing her emotional struggle between the acquiescence to familial and societal demands that of her true - incomprehensible and macabre self. 

To depict that, I pit a sonorous sound-world, with that of an opposing world filled with weird noises, vocalisations and extended instrumental techniques. The 2 worlds represent the within and without of Salome. This tone poem finally ends with large tutti chords that swallow up the true princess Salome, judging her for giving in to her desire. 

 

Re-looking at Salome for this project gave me a new perspective on Strauss’ work that I love. This project is an opportunity to communicate through time and across history with my predecessors that have looked at this character and more importantly the chance to re-paint the picture and re-tell her story: 

The men lusted for the young princess Salome, idolised her like the moon, and created a fantasy of the “little dove” that they desire but cannot have. She constantly rejects the advances of her step-father, but in her own sexual awakening, realizes her own desire for undesirable things. 

She desires John the Baptist like Herod desires her. 

Her grotesque metaphors that she used to profess her love for John the Baptist reveals the real Salome, who she really is. In expressing her desire for John, and using her own means to getting what she wants, she exposes a degenerate society and paints an unflattering picture of what is Herod’s relationship and lust. 

She dies, not because of what she has asked for, and for what she desires. 

She dies because she is a woman.

 

**Until today, in certain communities, a woman’s identity and her family’s sense of social respect and worth is measured by her acquiescence to family demands. This gives excuses for honour killings and crimes of passions to fester in a domestic setting. The truth is that there is no honour in killing women and girls for choosing to live life on their own terms. In this sense, any woman today could be Salome.  

 

Elle ne dansera plus is commissioned and written at the request of l'Orchestre Français des Jeunes.

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Instrumentation
Flute (2)|Piccolo|Oboe (2)|English Horn|Clarinet (2)|Bass Clarinet|Bassoon (2)|Contrabassoon|Trumpet (3)|Horn (French Horn)|Trombone (3)|Tuba|Violin|Viola |Cello|Double bass|Percussions (3)
Score Details
Format - A3 / Tabloid
Pages - 64


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