Sound Of Dance



Katie Derham explores the relationship between music and dance in a variety of genres


  • Dance on Screen

    Dance on Screen

    22/12/2018 Duration: 34min

    Katie Derham explores dance on film, from Fred and Ginger's elegance to the lycra of 1980s dance movies. And coming right up to the present, Katie talks to Mandy Moore, award-winning choreographer of La La Land. They'll discuss the art of choreographing for the big screen, how it differs to the stage.

  • Jerome Robbins

    Jerome Robbins

    15/12/2018 Duration: 24min

    Katie Derham delves into the work of the iconic choreographer Jerome Robbins in his centenary year. Best known as creator, choreographer, and co-director of West Side Story, Robbins' career spanned success not only in film and on Broadway, but importantly at the heart of the New York City Ballet where, as Associate Director, he worked closely with George Balanchine. Katie is joined by Robert Fairchild, former New York City Ballet Principal, to explore Robbins' unique way of telling stories through movement.

  • Flamenco


    08/12/2018 Duration: 29min

    Katie Derham delves into the world of Flamenco with dancer Samantha Quy and guitarist Tito Heredia. A dance form associated with the Andalusian Roma gypsies of Southern Spain, the dance, song and guitar all have equal importance. Katie will explore the history, and her guests will talk about the intricate timing systems, demonstrate how they follow each other, and explain how flamenco can become a way of life for its performers.

  • Matthew Bourne

    Matthew Bourne

    01/12/2018 Duration: 30min

    Katie Derham talks to choreographer Matthew Bourne. As his iconic production of Swan Lake returns to the stage, they'll discuss why he reinvented it for a corps-de-ballet of male swans, and how it has inspired a generation of boy dancers. A relatively late-starter in the ballet world, Matthew Bourne quickly became well-known for his individualistic approach to the classics. He'll talk about the music that inspires him, and the importance of story-telling in a new production.

  • The poetry of the puppet

    The poetry of the puppet

    29/09/2018 Duration: 26min

    Katie Derham looks at some of the natural links between dance and puppetry and the kinds of things that dance has and can learn from animating the inanimate. Katie looks at how puppets have been depicted in dance; how puppets have appeared alongside dancers in the ballet and considers the similarities and differences between puppet and puppeteer and choreographer and dancer. Katie talks to Puppeteer and Artistic Director of The Curious School of Puppetry, Sarah Wright, about the relationship between dance and puppetry and about what the two can learn from each other. The programme also features Brazilian dancer/choreographer Duda Paiva whose work explores the fusion between dance and puppets, as can be seen in his company's latest production, and interpretation of Purcell's "The Fairy Queen". Music featured in the programme includes Coppélia, La Boutique Fantasque; Alice In Wonderland and the Classic Score of the Week is Stravinsky's Petroushka.

  • Carlos Acosta celebrates 30 years in dance

    Carlos Acosta celebrates 30 years in dance

    22/09/2018 Duration: 27min

    Katie Derham talks to internationally renowned Cuban dancer and choreographer Carlos Acosta about his new show celebrating 30 years in dance. From the streets of Cuba to an international career spanning the National Ballet of Cuba, English National Ballet, Houston Ballet, and a long term residency at the Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta is one of the world's greatest dancers. Following his retirement from classical ballet in 2016, Carlos returns to the London stage with a new show with his company Acosta Danza. Carlos talks to Katie about putting his show together, what inspires him as a dancer and a choreographer, and reflects on his 30 years in dance. Producer - Ellie Mant

  • Tap with Clare Halse and Simon Adkins from the musical 42nd Street

    Tap with Clare Halse and Simon Adkins from the musical 42nd Street

    15/09/2018 Duration: 37min

    Katie Derham explores the world of tap with leading lady Clare Halse and resident choreographer Simon Adkins from the smash hit musical 42nd Street. From its roots as a mixture of clog dancing, soft shoe and African-influenced dance, tap as we know it started to emerge in the 1920s. Some Vaudeville and night club performers successfully made the transition into film when the talkies were invented, culminating a golden age of Hollywood with dancers like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Katie looks at the history and development of the dance form, and talks to Clare Halse and Simon Adkins about how the rhythm of tap becomes part of a musical score. Producer - Ellie Mant

  • Marie Rambert, a ballet by Wayne Eagling

    Marie Rambert, a ballet by Wayne Eagling

    08/09/2018 Duration: 30min

    Katie Derham explores the life and legacy of Marie Rambert, one of the pioneers of modern British ballet, and talks to choreographer Wayne Eagling about his new ballet based on her life. Born in Poland, Marie 'Mim' Rambert's career began in Paris, helping Diaghilev train his cast to dance the Rite of Spring. At the outbreak of WW1 she came to London and formed her own dance school, which developed into the Ballet Rambert, the oldest English ballet company still performing today. Her teaching inspired the next generations of dancers and choreographers, including Wayne Eagling whose new ballet 'Remembrance' is based on her life, and the separation from her husband when he was called away to war. Katie talks to Wayne about the concept of his new ballet, and Marie Rambert's continuing importance to the ballet world. Producer - Ellie Mant

  • Caribbean Dance

    Caribbean Dance

    28/04/2018 Duration: 33min

    Katie Derham explores the vibrant and varied world of Caribbean music and dance and finds out why it makes a good dance partner with mediaeval French Polyphony. So much of the culture of the Caribbean has been shaped by the many and various peoples who have informed its history, and this is mirrored in its music and dance. Katie Derham looks at some of distinctive dance styles of the Caribbean and meets the award-winning choreographers Cecilia Bengolea and François Chaignaud, whose latest dance collaboration DFS, currently running at Sadlers Wells, fuses Caribbean Dance Hall with the music of Machaut.

  • Akram Khan

    Akram Khan

    21/04/2018 Duration: 34min

    Katie Derham meets the choreographer and dancer Akram Khan as he undertakes his last performing role in a full length piece with Xenos for Sadler Wells. The programme explores Akram's background in traditional Indian Kathak dance, and looks back over his career to date, focusing on his collaborations with composers such as Nitin Sahwney, Jocelyn Pook, Steve Reich and Vincenzo Lamagna. Akram also talks about his version of Giselle, which appear in cinemas this week, and about his new piece Xenos, which receives its UK premiere next month. Continuing with the Indian dance theme, Katie's Classic Score of the Week is Ludwig Minkus's "La Bayadere".

  • Bach and the Ballet

    Bach and the Ballet

    23/12/2017 Duration: 33min

    Katie Derham looks at the response from the world of ballet to the music of Bach with the American dancer and choreographer Mark Morris. The spirit of dance lies at the heart of so much of Bach's music and in recent years choreographers have tapped into this for inspiration for new work - most notably Mark Morris, whose arresting and innovative work for ballet has often made people think the medium afresh. The music of the Baroque has provided him with a rich source of inspiration, including his work with cellist Yo Yo Ma for the series "Inspired by Bach" which resulted in the acclaimed "Falling Down Stairs" - a dancer's response to Bach's Cello Suite No 3.

  • The Nutcracker

    The Nutcracker

    16/12/2017 Duration: 34min

    Katie Derham considers a seasonal favourite - Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. She looks at its journey from the short story by ETA Hoffmann, via Alexandre Dumas, to the ballet stage and talks to conductor Paul Murphy of the Birmingham Royal Ballet about the nature of Tchaikovsky's music and how, as a conductor, he sets about shaping it to make it work for the dancers.

  • Kenneth MacMillan celebration

    Kenneth MacMillan celebration

    09/12/2017 Duration: 35min

    Katie Derham explores the adventurous choreography of Sir Kenneth MacMillan 25 years after his death, in conversation with the former director of the Royal Ballet Dame Monica Mason and the Royal Ballet principal dancer Edward Watson, uncovering the key elements of Macmillan's style and the importance of narrative in his works. The classic score of the week is Stravinsky's The Fairy's Kiss, which Macmillan choreographed in 1960.

  • Origins of Jazz Dance

    Origins of Jazz Dance

    02/12/2017 Duration: 28min

    Katie Derham considers the world of early jazz dance with Strictly Come Dancing choreographer Ryan Francois, from its roots in the notorious world of black slavery, to Harlem in the 1920s, and beyond. A popular feature of BBC One's "Strictly Come Dancing" are the jazz routines - the Charleston and Jive, with their colour, excitement and joie de vivre. Katie Derham looks back on the journey that these dance styles undertook before arriving at their modern form and considers the stories, music and movement that shaped them. With Katie is one of Strictly's regular choreographers, Ryan Francois, a specialist in jazz dance, who helps to unpick the origins of one of dance's most vibrant forms.

  • Darcey Bussell

    Darcey Bussell

    14/07/2017 Duration: 32min

    "The first thing you're told is listen, listen to the music - the music and the step are as one. As a child you're not always aware of this". Katie Derham talks to a Darcey Bussell about a dancer's relationship with music. Darcey Bussell, as a Principal at the Royal Ballet for nearly twenty years and now a judge on Strictly Come Dancing, has prepared many roles for the stage, and also has a broad range of tastes in music. She looks back over her career, and to some of her earliest forays in dance, to consider some of the almost alchemical ways in which dancer and music interact. She offers suggestions of where music and dance are wonderfully matched in the work of others, not least in the partnership of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and talks about some of her favourite and inspirational music for the ballet. The programme features music for some of Darcey's great roles including from Romeo and Juliet; The Prince Of The Pagodas; Sylvia; and The Song Of The Earth.

  • Baroque Dance at Versailles and beyond

    Baroque Dance at Versailles and beyond

    24/06/2017 Duration: 31min

    Katie Derham explores dance at the court of Versailles - the dance music of Louis XIV and the French baroque, and the origins of classical ballet. Picture the scene at Versailles - the Sun King Louis wielding his political power in court - and dancing. It seems strange to us today, but the two were indelibly intertwined in the 17th century. Ballets and operas were extravagant spectacles used to celebrate marriages or show off wealth and power. Louis was known as a great dancer, and in fact, he is seen as the father of classical ballet, establishing the first ballet school in a room at the Louvre palace. His key composer was Jean-Baptiste Lully, who created the first dances which told a story. In this episode Katie uncovers a hidden dimension of the music in the context of the dance steps, including an interview with the baroque dancer Mary Collins, and musicians Rachel Brown and Adrian Butterfield, who are all working on a joint project, and an insight into dance and power from George Blagden who plays Loui

  • Tango


    10/06/2017 Duration: 34min

    Katie Derham presents a series exploring the relationship between music and dance in a variety of genres. This week's topic is tango, which originated in Argentina, travelled across Europe, and returned to Argentina, creating a Golden Age of tango in the 1930s. Including an interview with the bandoneon player Julian Rowlands and dancers David and Kim Benitez. The Classic Dance Score of the week is by Astor Piazzolla.