New Les Noces presented at UNC Charlotte and CPCC

Clay Daniel is preparing a new version of Les Noces (The Wedding) for his CPCC Dance Theatre Ensemble. Les Noces is a collaboration of Daniel and dancers, CPCC conductor Alan Yamamoto, UNC Charlotte’s Rick Dior and the UNC Charlotte Percussion Ensemble, and special guests. The work will be performed at UNC Charlotte on Monday, April 8 at 7:30 pm, and at CPCC as part of the Sensoria Festival, Wednesday, April 10 at 7:30 pm.

Daniel, who is Discipline Chair in Dance at CPCC and teaches modern dance, is approaching Les Noces, first, through the music. Igor Stravinsky’s 1917 score is for percussion, piano, chorus, and vocal soloists. It premiered in Paris in 1923, as part of a ballet by Bronislava Nijinska. While Daniel finds Les Noces reminiscent of Stravinsky's earlier Rite of Spring, he notes that the composer saved some surprises for this work. Daniel marvels that his young company members, at first shocked by the music, “have embraced this difficult score and can vocalize its rhythms as we fit together music and dance.” "It's not pop music," adds Daniel.

 The ballet is divided into two parts: first, preparing for, and then, celebrating a wedding. Daniel hopes his Les Noces honors the music and is recognizably a wedding, without immediately revealing who the wedding party is. He will honor the original by keeping its association with Russian peasantry in costuming and through the use of props. The movement, however will draw from Daniel’s expertise in the technique and dances of Charles Weidman, an American modern dance pioneer. With all musicians, including four pianos, soloists and choirs, and dancers on stage, the performance will be an immersive experience of music and dance theatre.

The UNC Charlotte performance is sponsored by the Department of Music. Tickets are available through the Robinson Hall boxoffice ( The CPCC performance will include a work by ballet faculty member Tracie Chan, to original music by Rick Dior, and a tap work by UNC Charlotte visiting faculty member Janet Schroeder (

Lakisha Rios