Touching Heaven —2011

Touching Heaven is a suite of movements from the full-length ballet score JLS, which was commissioned by the American Music Center, Live Music for Dance. Sophia Anastasia and Ralph Sorrentino of Electrum Duo played the premiere at Bargemusic in Brooklyn, NY, and recorded the piece on their debut album titled Introductions.


  1. hand-to-mouth
  2. the beat of a different drummer
  3. cog in the machine
  4. terminal velocity
  5. imitation
  6. keep working on love
  7. return
  8. keep finding yourself

Program Notes

In Richard Bach’s 1970 novella, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Jonathan sought to attain “perfect speed,” or “touching heaven.” His journey provided the inspiration for Mark Roxey’s ballet, JLS, about a young man frustrated with the materialism and limitations of his life working as a stock broker. Following his passion for dance, he leaves his job, finds a mentor and perfects his technique through diligence and love. He then returns to his old workplace to share with others what he has learned about freedom, forgiveness and the importance of living every day with personal meaning. The ballet was commissioned by the American Music Center’s Live Music for Dance program, which provides grants to New York City and New Jersey-based professional dance companies for collaborative projects involving a composer and/or musicians.