Sonatas and Interludes

Choreography by: Richard Tanner

Music by: John Cage

Sonatas and Interludes’ two dancers unfold through fluid yet crisp movements  set to the percussive sound of a John Cage score for prepared piano.

Richard Tanner created Sonatas and Interludes for the Eglevsky Ballet in 1982, and the work entered the repertory of New York City Ballet during the 1988 American Music Festival. The ballet is set to five pieces from John Cage’s "Sonatas and Interludes", a 20 piece collection of music composed for prepared piano between 1946 and 1948. The term prepared piano refers to a concept developed by Cage around 1938, in which the composer experimented with changing a piano’s sound by inserting bits of wood, paper, screws, or other objects between or on the strings at various points to produce a more percussive sound. Instructions, either written or described in diagrams, are given in the front of the score in minute detail.

View a slideshow of images from Sonatas and Interludes >


Social Media Buttons


Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano (1960)
April 12, 1982, Eglevsky Ballet, Long Island, New York
NYC Ballet Premiere
May 5, 1988, American Music Festival, New York State Theater
Original Cast
Heather Watts, David Moore

NYC Ballet Original Cast
Heather Watts, Jock Soto
13 Min.
Costumes by
Carole Divet
Lighting by
Mark Stanley