The Orient Express Ballet Suite was commissioned by the Debbie Allen School Of Dance in summer 2022. The goal was to create a ballet suite for their summer recital and to mix many levels from beginner's ballet class to advanced ballet class.
There are 6 colourful dances bringing the dancers from Paris to Istanbul :
1. GALOP IN GARE DE L'EST
The journey starts in Paris, where I trained as a ballet pianist and it is the Gare de l'Est, which inspired me to write a galop. I don't think I ever got the chance to walk in Gare de l'Est, I always was rushing to miss my train... which happened a few times ! At the time I lived in Germany and was commuting to Paris twice a month... I love train journeys !
In this piece, Debbie Allen had passengers (advanced levels) rushing to catch their train and train attendants (beginners levels). It is a fun galop to dance to !
2. LAENDLER IN TYROL
Our first destination is somewhere in the mountains of Tyrol... the train stops and the passengers get to admire lovely dancers in their traditional costumes perform for them this happy laendler. There is no rush, just pure happiness to enjoy the fresh air of the mountains !
3. BARCAROLLE LAGUNA
After a night on the train, the passengers arrive in Venice.. they get off the train to dance a peaceful barcarolle with masked and elegant Venetians. You can barely hear the gondolas on the laguna...
4. TRANSYLVANIAN FOLK DANCE
We now arrive in the mountains of Transylvania, a group of villagers is celebrating a happy event with a strong character dance. The passengers and the train attendants are delighted to watch their show !
5. ORIENTAL DANCE
More East... and we arrive in the Orient... a new group of dancers arrive and perform this oriental dance for the passengers... who can't wait to join in !
6. ISTANBUL GALOP IN 7/8
Our final destination is reached and the scene takes place in an oriental bazaar...this is the opportunity for everyone to join in a strange and wild galop in 7/8 time signature, a great way to end the journey on a happy note !
The piano sheet music of this ballet suite for for young dancers is available here.