Approved Exam Music
Recommended for the following exam grade(s):
Grades: 6, 7
From the Publisher
After studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Mick Foster worked extensively in the jazz and classical fields, playing saxophone and clarinet with a wide range of ensembles which includes the London Jazz and Back to Basie Orchestras, and the London Philharmonic and BBC Concert Orchestras. He has worked with the three members of the Dankworth family, Guy Barker and Mark Nightingale, and continues to be much in demand as a session musician. Mick has recorded three albums under his own name and his work for television includes BBC 1's 'Strictly Come Dancing' and ITV's 'Downton Abbey'.
The similarity of their titles invites comparison between Foster's 'Five Contemporary Dances' (2015) and Francaix's 'Cinq Danses Exotiques', published half a century earlier. One of the Francaix set has its origin in C17th West Africa and none of them is later than the 1930's. They are all specific to certain Caribbean Islands or to a defined part of Brazil, and each has a strong local tradition. Time signatures vary between 2/4 and 4/4 and the fourth dance is in 5/8! while tempi are indicated in conventional Italian. Fifty-four years later, Mick Foster has used genres which are familiar worldwide - jive, tango, salsa etc. although the Latin American roots of some of them are obvious. All five of his Contemporary Dances are in 4/4 and tempo markings in English such as 'Groovy', 'Sultry' and 'Fast, urgent, straight 8s' reinforce their place in the C21st.
Performance duration (approx): 12'45
Difficulty level, roughly compared to ABRSM exam grades. 0 is beginner, 9 is advanced (beyond grade 8).