John's Book of Alleged Dances

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John's Book of Alleged Dances (1994) is a composition by John Adams for string quartet and recorded prepared piano. Commissioned and premiered by the Kronos Quartet, the first performance took place November 19, 1994, at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, California.[1] The recorded prepared piano tracks were originally activated by one of the quartet players using a pedal operated sampler. This was eventually replaced by a prerecorded CD track.

John Adams has said that the dances are alleged because, "the steps for them had yet to be invented."[1][2] The composition is approximately 25 minutes in length and is composed of ten humorously titled "dances" that may be played in any order. The movement titles are as follows:

  • "Judah to Ocean"
  • "Toot Nipple"
  • "Dogjam"
  • "Pavane: She's So Fine"
  • "Rag the Bone"
  • "Habanera"
  • "Stubble Crotchet"
  • "Hammer & Chisel"
  • "Alligator Escalator"
  • "Ständchen: The Little Serenade"

Selections from John's Book of Alleged Dances have been set by a number of choreographers, including Paul Taylor.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "John's Book of Alleged Dances",
  2. ^ Stevenson, Joseph. John's Book of Alleged Dances at AllMusic. Retrieved June 23, 2014.

External links[edit]