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Dan Deacon ’04 Collaborates with New York City Ballet

The critically acclaimed electronic composer adds a new genre to his portfolio: ballet.

Dan Deacon (music) is known for many things, including his several critically-acclaimed electronic albums, and for co-founding Wham City, an arts and music collective, with other  Purchase alumni. But up until now, he’s never been known for composing music for the ballet.

However, when New York City Ballet’s resident choreographer, Justin Peck, emailed Deacon and asked to use his music in an upcoming piece, he was more than happy to comply, especially when he heard what the choreographer had in mind.

Peck’s idea was to use the last four tracks of Deacon’s album, America, to create the world premiere of a contemporary ballet with a political backdrop, voicing the frustrations many Americans have right now.

Performed by 20 dancers in sneakers and hoodies that say words like Unite, React,  and Fight on them, the ballet has been praised for its ability to capture the protest movements going on today. 

“I’m really glad that this piece is happening when it is, because art needs to be a voice,” Deacon tells W Magazine

“The Times Are Racing” runs through the spring season at Lincoln Center. Watch an excerpt