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Nigel Keay - the dancer leads the procession (1999)

- the dancer... performed by Jeffrey Grice (recorded by Concert FM, a network of Radio New Zealand Radio New Zealand logo) (Total duration: 9'16")

The Dancer.... Score (PDF - 15 pages, 774Kb)

the dancer leads the procession was written for Jeffrey Grice while I was living in Caen in 1999, shortly after I had moved to France.

I began working on the material for the dancer as long ago as 1989. This initial inspiration, founded on the sounds and structure of the Javanese Gamelan, was linked to a specific event.

In 1984, when in Java, I had attended a traditional-style wedding ceremony. At the start, the marriage couple were led into the venue by a dancer accompanied by the gamelan who were already installed there. The couple were young, but the dancer could have been in his fifties; he was obviously a master of his art. The trio moved very slowly passing at one stage directly in front of the Gamelan. The dancer’s style was extremely graceful & refined, with many slowly moving expressive gestures of the arms and hands. When directly in front of the Gamelan the dancer turned toward the musicians for a few seconds, and instantly his style of dance changed into something quite different. Frenetically indulging in all the off-beats, he was grooving along with it.

Everybody loved this brief and direct acknowledgment to the musicians, and didn’t hesitate to show their enthusiasm. The dancer then returned to the previous style and carried on with the procession moving away from the Gamelan.

I remained fascinated by this particular concept of a multi-levelled music and wanted to reflect the idea in the dancer without emulating specific gamelan techniques. There seemed to be two elements, one representing the long range cycles marked by the large gongs (the slow graceful dance style), and the other of the bustling upper instruments with the constant hocketing.


the dancer leads the procession was performed by Jeffrey Grice at Salle Gaveau in Paris on Wednesday 14th February 2007photo of Jeffrey Grice.

Jeffrey Grice (piano). A New Zealander, long resident in France, Jeffrey Grice has performed regularly in Europe and France as a soloist and chamber musician. In 1999 he was made an "Officier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres" by the French government for services in the field of music. Born in Christchurch Jeffrey Grice studied languages and music at Auckland University. He then continued his piano studies in Paris, obtaining the Licence de Concert de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure de Musique. Other formative influences came from a year spent in Israel with Enrique Barenboim, and from the coaching of Charles Rosen and Florencia Raitzin.

A laureate of the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation, the Cziffra Foundation and the Sophia-Antipolis Foundation, performing regularly in Europe and Japan as a soloist and chamber musician, with many prominent conductors and performers.

He has recorded in Europe for Calliope, Erato and Integral Classic and in Japan for Sony Classical, Cosmo Village and JVC.

Jeffrey Grice can also be heard playing Nigel Keay's work Diffractions for Piano and Chamber Orchestra.

Other works for solo piano by Nigel Keay: Interlude, Variations for Piano, Four Piano Pieces, Little Tango Suite.

le danseur mène la procession - French flag