year: 2002 instrumentation: solo guitar with orchestra
These dances are extracted from a larger work, "Songs and Dances of Death & Desire", conceived as a tribute to the life and personality of Carmen Rupe, Maori transvestite, high-club owner, exotic dancer, drag queen, Wellington mayoral candidate, etc.
This suite of cabaret dances (intended to be danced by a young male Maori, representing Carmen Rupe), comprise 'character pieces' based on quotation and pastiche, a process of assuming new personae, donning masks, musically speaking. Just as the dancer adopts various characters, the guitarist transforms his instrument variously into a flamenco guitar, an African mbira (thumb piano), an Arabic tar (long-necked lute), a Hawaiian slide guitar, and an electronic disco machine.
See also the article "Remembering Carmen Rupe" by David Larsen.