Carl Davis' ballet The Great Gatsby, choreographed by Jorden Morris, begins a run of five performances on April 28 at the Walt Disney Theatre, produced by Orlando Ballet. Julian Pellicano conducts Davis’ 2019 score, which captures both the ebullience of the Roaring Twenties and the destructive, obsessive aura surrounding Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tale of tragic excess. Davis previously composed acclaimed film music for a television adaption of The Great Gatsby in 2000.
Davis’ score was described as “sweepingly cinematic” (Pittsburgh Gazette) at its premiere. “I wanted this ballet to sound like an expensive Broadway musical of the period” Davis has said of the score”. “A small group of strings but plenty of saxes, pinging brass and holding it together that jazz beat and the throb of the Blues…I also wanted to pay tribute to the popular dances of the day: sentimental waltzes, the Argentine tango and Paso Doble, Foxtrots and above all, the Charleston.”
The ballet received its first performance at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, choreographed by Morris. Davis’ score was recorded in 2021 on The Carl Davis Collection, with the composer himself conducting the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Tickets and performance details can be found here.