The Chairman Dances

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Chairman Dances is a 1985 composition by John Adams,[1] subtitled Foxtrot for Orchestra and lasting about 13 minutes. A commission from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, it has several dance-like tunes and has been described by Adams as an “outtake” from Act III of the opera he was working on at the time, Nixon in China.[2] The word “Dances” in the title is a verb, not a noun. In the opera, the music depicts Madame Mao gate-crashing a presidential banquet, hanging paper lanterns, and performing a seductive dance; Chairman Mao descends from his portrait, and the two dance a foxtrot, back in time together. The piece ends with the sound of a gramophone winding down.[2]

The Chairman Dances was later included (not by the composer) in the Civilization IV[3] and I Am Love[4] soundtracks.


The work is scored for a large orchestra.



  1. ^ Cahill, Sarah. "Adams, John". Grove Music Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Adams, John. ""The Chairman Dances"". Earbox. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  3. ^ Grahckheuhl (2010-09-26), Civilization 4 Soundtrack: The Chairman Dances: Foxtrot for Orchestra, retrieved 2016-07-26
  4. ^ IMDB (2010-10-18), I Am Love trailer, retrieved 2016-10-18
  5. ^ Adams, John (1985). "The Chairman Dances: Foxtrot for Orchestra". G. Schirmer Inc. Retrieved April 24, 2016.

External links[edit]