Martin Simpson


25 Nov 2010

"Grinning In Your Face" Ballet To Be Performed By The Houston Ballet Company in 2011

In 2001, Christopher Bruce, one of the most important figures in the history of the Ballet Rambert, created a new ballet to mark the anniversary of the company which he helped shape over many years. Set to the music of Martin's CD of the same name, Christopher Bruce’s 'Grinning in Your Face' evokes a Midwest American community in the 1930s, and features many of the hallmarks of Mr. Bruce’s work: conflict, love and rejection, and folksy humor. Bruce's ballet is inspired by Martin's music and by images of the US midwest in the last century.
The piece evokes the hardships of the Depression and World War II, and features Martin perfoming songs by Bob Dylan, Paul Anka and Cat Stevens, as well as Martin's own arrangements of traditional folk songs.
Bruce explains: "My dance comes directly from images inspired by the music - which appeared to me to paint pictures of rural America from the 1930s to the 1960s.
"My imagination was stimulated by photographs, novels - particularly Steinbeck - and, of course, the movies.
"There is no storyline, although I do use a storytelling device occasionally. Mostly, the work is an interpretation of the songs, with linking themes."
Grinning in Your Face is a ballet about America and Bruce requested it be brought to Houston in order for Americans to dance a work that is deeply rooted in American culture. We're over the moon that the ballet is to be performed again - some of our office staff have seen and loved it, but Martin himself never got the chance as he was always working when it was performed in the UK. "I would love to see the ballet," says Martin. "It's still a real honour for me that Christopher wanted to use my music to choreograph a work of his. He is a fantastic and deservedly respected choreographer"
Hailed by London’s The Daily Telegraph as “the Nureyev of contemporary ballet,” Mr. Bruce was appointed Houston Ballet associate choreographer in 1989. 'Grinning In Your Face' will be performed in May and June 2011.
You can buy the CD in the shop for a special price of only £10! It's one of our absolute favourites and was re-released by Topic Records earlier this year.

Out now

Vagrant Stanzas
Vagrant Stanzas
CD, 2013

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Purpose & Grace
Purpose & Grace
CD, 2011

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Martin Simpson: Prodigal Son, The Concert
Martin Simpson: Prodigal Son, The Concert
DVD, 2009

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