Five dances stretch a time-line from the 18th Century to the present day, each very different in character. The Allemande, which was often an introductory movement to the Baroque dance suite, ushers in Century Dances with flourishes and trills, using the conventional form of the period. This is followed by Menuet, subtitled ‘ghost dance,’ distant and fragmented. Mazurka, a Polish dance form much favoured by Chopin, expansive and stately, is succeeded by the dark intensity of the Tango. The Last Dance rocks the suite to an exuberant conclusion.
Century Dances received its first performance on 1 December, 2005, at St George’s, Brandon Hill, Bristol, and was commissioned by The Thorne Trio with funds generously provided by the Gilbert and Eileen Edgar Junior Fellowship, the Lord and Lady Lurgan Fellowship and the Philharmonia Orchestra/Martin Music Trust Scholarship Fund Education and Outreach Award.