Adverse camber: a ballet for questionable ensemble

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Deemer, Robert Clay

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Adverse Camber is a large-scale instrumental work for a mixed fifteen-piece ensemble that was commissioned by choreographer David Justin, Artistic Director of the Dance Repertory Theatre at The University of Texas at Austin. The work is delineated into six continuous sections that outline a series of staged dance vignettes. These vignettes follow a narrative arc beginning in an urban setting at night, then moving into the countryside during the day and concluding in a beach setting at the close of day. The ensemble is made up of six woodwinds, four brass, electric guitar, two synthesizers and two percussionists. The author’s intent was to create a work that balanced the dramatic needs of the narrative and the formal needs of the music. It was also his intent to experiment with various thematic structures within a single work, as well as incorporate a unique instrumental ensemble that had been previously imagined by the author, but never realized until now. This piece is the first that the author has composed for dance on such a large scale, and the collaborative relationship between the author and the choreographer had a huge impact upon the overall concept of the work and the finished product.