Creating Music for Dance

Taught by Resident Musician Divyamaan Sahoo

(Held throughout the 2017 season, as Divyamaan accompanies workshop classes)

Moving bodies in space create music—the role of the com­poser of music for dance requires an understanding of the music cre­ated by the moving bodies, then composing sounds that respond to the dan­cers’ motion.

Performers use music in a variety of ways—some work with an exist­ing piece of (often copyrighted) music and create move­ments in­spired by the music; others start with movement and find music that fits. For those dancers and choreographers in­terested in making ori­ginal music for their works, this work­shop will be of interest.

This workshop will provide an opportunity for student musicians to collaborate with dancers, and learn how to compose original music for their own works. Participants will receive instruc­tion in using open-source programs such as Audacity and Puredata (for Windows users), or Garageband, Logic, and Max/MSP (for Mac users) to be able to create original and (possibly) interactive sound spaces. They may also have the opportunity to collaborate with Sahoo on any performance work that requires original music.

Divyamaan Sahoo (, from Kolkata, India, is graduating from Bates College with a degree in Mathematics, Music, and Philosophy. His current interests in­clude composing music and designing sound for dance, film, and theater, in addi­tion to study­ing logic, language, and the foundations of mathematics. His compositions have been per­formed by Brooklyn-based ENSEMBLE MISE-EN, and are scheduled to be performed by the Mo­menta Quartet. He is studying music composition with Hiroya Miura and Bill Matthews, having studied dance accompaniment with Shamou and jazz improvisation with Tom Snow. Sahoo is also a member of the intermedia improvisational unit BLURB, directed by virtuoso guitarist Arthur Kampela, and is the co-founder and director of the Lewiston-based free-form improvi­sational ensemble “Eagle Stick” whose sound was described by the Lewiston Sun Journal as “hard to pin down.” He has had the pleasure of composing for and collaborating with dancers at the Bates Dance Festival (2016), where he collaborated with Andrea Olsen on her site-speci­fic work Slope, and he created original compositions and accompanied the Bearn­stow Dancers in Concert (August 2016); he will return to Bearnstow in 2017 for this teaching residency.

The fee for this workshop is $475 per week for resident students and includes full room and board. Fee for commuting students is $200 per week and includes lunch daily. To apply, go to the Music Student Workshop Registration Form. Complete the form with your contact data and select the week you wish to attend. You will want to consult the dance workshop program schedule to see which dance workshop is in session before making your choice.

Contact for more information.