New World Symphony to premiere Roumain’s “Dancers”

Posted on: September 22, 2010

In Wednesday’s (9/22) Miami Herald, Greg Stepanich writes, “The segment lasted only 21 seconds, but it gave Daniel Bernard Roumain a basis for 21 minutes of musical thought … What inspired the Haitian-American composer and violinist was a bit of television from late October 2007, in which then-Sen. Barack Obama and comedian Ellen DeGeneres shared a brief dance on her talk show. ‘I was captivated by it, because I can’t imagine another time in our history when a white, lesbian woman and a mixed-race, black presidential candidate could have a conversation like that—one that involved no words, no speaking but instead, a very eloquent, very humble dance,’ says Roumain, who grew up in Margate [in Broward County, Florida]. So when he got a commission from Detroit’s Sphinx Organization to write an orchestral work, he turned to that dance. The result is a three-movement piece called Dancers, Dreamers and Presidents, which will get its world premiere Saturday at the Lincoln Theatre on Miami Beach, played by the New World Symphony under principal guest conductor Alasdair Neale. … The new symphony is scored for a full orchestra, with a large battery of percussion including a drum kit.”

Posted September 22, 2010