Wang Jie, Composer | The Golden Snake Dances Into Rapture

The Golden Snake Dances Into Rapture

The Golden Snake Dances Into Rapture

Commissioned by Elmira Darvarova

The Golden Snake Dances Into Rapture

rhapsody based on an ancient Chinese melody

Program Note

Celebrations bring loneliness. One of the defining moments of my musical life was encountering Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring.” The spring was what it had been. Alone I sat in a velvety isle seat, watching this young girl danced herself to death. It felt like a graduation worth celebrating. The spring was no longer what it had been. My world was no longer what it was.

Somewhere in my world, there lives a Chinese Golden Snake. ⾦蛇狂舞 (The Golden Snake Dances Into Rapture), as it was known to the entire nation. Every Chinese can hum this tune, and nobody in China cared where it came from. Because the only time you see a snake dance, someone is celebrating something.

For a long time, the dancing snake became invisible since I moved to New York 20 years ago. It had to be buried because “The Rite of Spring” happened and in all its afterglow, the snake’s dance became merely decorative. It was tired of its insignificance. The Golden Snake longed to be that young girl. But it wan’t sure that death was its destiny. It was a celebratory snake after all.

Contact Wang Jie to inquire about the score
01 Jan 2023