Waltzes for the Dayroom —1995

Waltzes for the Dayroom was commissioned by Stephen Pelton Dance Theater. It was premiered with live music performed by the Alternate Currents Performance Ensemble at the Cinnebar Theater in Petaluma, CA.


Pelton commissioned a gripping score from Robert Maggio (which was played live by the excellent Alternate Currents Performance Ensemble) . . .

Allan Ulrich, San Francisco Examiner, June 5, 1995

Robert Maggio’s specially composed score splinters the history of waltz music into a comic, energizing survey of folk dances, hurdy gurdy, Arthur Murray, dance hall tunes, and a bombastic version of the classic Viennese one-two-three. The waltz functions in the dance as a metaphor for a societal code that tries to restrain physical passion. In its codified form of steps and attitudes, it becomes a cage for the dancers to bounce against . . . In desperation, each dancer eventually seeks to embrace another. They gallop in a circle, arms extended, palms pleading. They run faster, accelerate. The lyric, structured music gains power. But they can’t catch up. They slip away, break apart, lose each other and rotate in solitary orbits.

Katia Noyes, On-Q Magazine, May 31, 1995