The ballet is composed of three solo variations danced by Michelle DeAngelis, Madeline Houk, and Rochelle Chang with Barreiro playing live upstage right throughout the piece.
The first variation reflects that drill team style and old-school New Orleans drumming, the second a more subdued style featuring the brushes, and the third a showy, big band-style piece that pays tribute to Astaire’s famous ‘dancing’ with the drum kit itself.
In creating The Drum Dances, Jones sought a 19th century collaborative relationship, trading musical ideas with the composer as the ballet was shaped – in this case, in real time.
“Creating and performing The Drum Dances was one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences of my career,” said Chang. “But for as strenuous as it was, I didn’t want it to end. There’s nothing like live music — especially during the choreography process — and the energy from Ana and the audience was unreal.”
The company plans to continue broadcasting on ACBTV even after the company’s return to the stage. The programing will include new ballets, a video version of ACB’s Outsiders podcast, documentary footage of ballets being made, and educational content reflecting the company’s Dance and Design and Dancing School series.