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Dance of Life : Sun-sign 'Cancer' song

by Margaret Brandman (2016, this version: 2017)

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Dance of Life


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Dance of Life : sun-sign Cancer song / music: Margaret Brandman ; lyrics: Benita Rainer.

Library shelf no. 782.5542/BRA 6 [Available for loan]

Dance of Life


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Score & Part [ePDF]

Dance of Life : arranged for viola and piano [eScore] / Margaret Brandman.

Version: This product features the Viola with piano version of this work

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Work Overview

Dance of Life (Cancer song) is a contemporary art song is set for Mezzo-Soprano voice or Baritone voice. It is the fourth song in Margaret Brandman's Cosmic Wheel of the Zodiac Song Cycle. The lyrics are by astrologer and poet Benita Rainer who has artfully distilled the individual characteristics of this star sign in her text.

Love, devotion, tenderness, forever after. These are the positive gifts of the heart so exemplified by resiliently positive Cancerian natures. Those born under this sensitive sign value children, permanency and commitment.

"When I go, I take you with me, in my pocket, near my heart". These opening lyrics prompted, the composer's choice of the bright key of G Major and the choice of swing feel and jazzy chord progressions. The B section of the work begins with the lines "I can feel your arms around me, clinging, clinging so tenderly. In my arms and cheek to cheek, dancers through the dance of life". This imagery prompted a change to triple time and the Swing waltz feel. At this point also, there is a modulation to the even brighter key of E Major which remains in action till the end of the song.

Work Details

Year: 2016, this version: 2017

Instrumentation: SATB choir, piano.

Duration: 3 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Swing timing

First performance: by Prague Mixed Choir — 14 Sep 17. Concert Hall of the Czech Museum of Music, Prague, Czech Republic


Dance of Life (from Cosmic Wheel of the Zodiac)


  • In the form/style of: Jazz

Performances of this work

19 Aug 18: Eugene Gossens Hall, ABC Centre, Ultimo, NSW . Featuring Coro Austral, Margot McLaughlin, Margaret Brandman.

14 Sep 17: Concert Hall of the Czech Museum of Music, Prague, Czech Republic. Featuring Prague Mixed Choir.

3 Sep 16: Recital Hall East, Sydney Conservatorium . Featuring Martin Cooke, Margaret Brandman.

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