The role that music provides for dance is functional, yet endowed with imaginative scope.
Fundamentally music must inspire the body to move, which means that it must be vital in its
offering, multifaceted or even seductive in its message, and convincing in its interpretation. It is
of the same chemistry that constitutes the body and mind, and must act in response to that.

Luminous Music programmes that developed from 1996 to present day, benefited from
extensive time working in contemporary dance environments. As a soloist for dance training I
logged-in countless hours of studio time that enabled me to explore and work out music ideas
on a large variety of very interesting instruments. Simultaneously I was able to perform daily
for live audiences of appreciative dancers. These times of exploration went directly into music
composition, and in turn led to commissions and further performance.

That was just the beginning of the benefits we found working in dance communities. Beyond the
difficult challenge of physical training, here was a world of supra-physical mentality, invention
and creativity, the possibility of designing far reaching ideas within a fundamental art form.
 Jhalib Millar - London dance percussionist:

"He is great! In hand drumming, Keliehor must only bow his head to himself & the maker cos he is a master, make
no mistake. I haven't heard a sound like his in a long time. Other accompanists that I've heard on Djembe etc, are
nothing in comparison because there is no magic. As soon as I heard his music there was magic & I knew this was
someone gooooooood. Please do more, it's raw, it's vibrant, it's sexy and it's the basis of life."
Julyen Hamilton, musician and dancer:

"I must say that the one thing that nourished me extraordinarily was Jon Keliehor's rhythm
classes. They gave me a system, and I can penetrate any music with that. He gave me
fearlessness towards music. it really appealed to me. It was numeric, it was mathematical
and you could get into where your heart was moving."
Keliehor started with London Contemporary Dance Theatre in 1971 and has continued to work with dancers and dance trainers
internationally and across the UK and at a number of colleges, companies and studios both in London, Caracas, Seattle,
Glasgow and Edinburgh. He has worked with organisations/companies including London Contemporary Dance School and
Theatre, Danza Hoy, Mark Morris Company, Cornish College of the Arts, Scottish Ballet, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland,
Dance House, Scottish Youth Dance, Scottish Dance Theatre and Dance Base.

His music personal and intuitive, diverse and creative. Numerous music opportunities and commissions have resulted from
collaborations with dance artists including Robert Cohan, Robert North, Jane Dudley, Kazuko Hirabayashi, Dick Kuch, Dick
Gain, Louis Falco, Carolyn Carlson, Naomi Lapezon, Juliet Fisher, Bill Louther, Namron, Darshan Singh Bhuller, Inge Lonnroth,
Tara Rajkumar, Jacque Broquet, Adriana and Luz Urdaneta, Patricia Hon, Wade Madsen, Joanna Mendl Shaw, Rosina Bonsu,
Ruth Mills, Maxine Railton, Andy Howitt, Dianna Loosemore, Paul Liburd, Steinvor Palsson, Alan Greig and many others.  
class.score & hand.tif
Dance . Music . Composition
Musicians in Dance
With a focus on creative principles, the classes were a magnet for imaginative thinking and
individual discovery. It was a goal beyond learning how to identify the right music . . . it was a
choice towards creativity, viewing the edges of the unknown, and how to work with that.

Participants on the Rhythm Course brought more insight than one could have imagined. By
allowing students at London Contemporary Dance the opportunity to explore perhaps the single
most vital element in music and dance, a door opened to a vast and often hidden storehouse of
information containing core creative codes. I now hope that I can pay tribute to the knowledge we
gained. My hope is that the book I am writing from these experiences, the details and discoveries
about rhythm and its impact in creative domains, will eventually find a publisher.
Dance-happy (fullsize).tif
Music & Dance Rhythm Intensive
Many movement instructors prefer live music accompaniment for dance
training sessions. The standard arrangement for a dance class provides
live music from pianists, or drummers, or percussionists. These are fully
robust instruments capable of creating dynamic, wide-frequency music.

Funded dance programmes, are capable of bringing music input from
four primary areas that might include accompanists, performers,
composers, music course instructors. All perform vital roles. However
some economic constraints force smaller dance organisations to use
these services less frequently, where for example, music in dance
classes becomes relegated to playlists on electronic devices.
Musicians working in dance always benefit, as do dancers themselves
The dance-drumming of JON KELIEHOR has brought a refreshing and dynamic energy for
contemporary dance and dance training. His personal approach to drumming and percussion tonality
has influenced musicians and dancers. It has helped shape the way that percussion is employed in
contemporary dance and modern ballet, and has opened a door to a renewed interest in these
remarkable instruments.
Music and dance belong to one another. Throughout history traditional dance, social dance, classical and
many other dance forms have arisen from the deep well springs of most cultures. At all times these
expressive art-forms have been deeply connected to music and rhythm. Together they reveal huge
territories of co-creative expression and deserve a prominent place amongst the great art forms of this
country. While some of the barriers to expansion in the arts are financial, it should be remembered that
live partnerships in dance and music create an even more unique and challenging environment for
creativity to flourish.
Today there are educational initiatives that aim to bring
artists more into dialogue with one another, to provide
an understanding of the shared creative elements
within art forms.

I am certain of the need not only to involve live music
in dance training, but the benefit in bringing composers
and choreographers to work together. Both disciplines
thrive on new relationships, discovering ground for
creative expression that can allow a deeper study of
the conceptual intelligence within dance and music arts.
The diverse nature of music has created ranges of open-ended environments that dancers traverse
in all directions, offering surprises and bridges between our contemporary world and some distant,
perhaps ancient place that our bodies continually try to locate and accomodate.
This is the story of one composer:

In practice, instruments themselves became my teachers. Through their unusual ranges of musical
tone and sonority, they provided a new kind of dynamic to emerge, allowing an unforseen way to
express spatial content in my music. I felt there was permission to explore expanded ranges of
tonal colour in both experimental and traditional ways. Today I realise how fortunate I was to have
been let in on some of the secrets of writing music for dancers. In these contemporary dance and
modern ballet environments, I began to realise that my humble percussion instruments were
somehow timeless, sound treasures. They provided keys allowing access to a world of sounds and
textures that so many older cultures throughout history had also thought significant.

The music for Robert Cohan’s CLASS, Darshan Singh Bhuller’s BEYOND THE LAW, and Robert
TROY GAME are models of traditional world percussion instruments in contemporary
settings. By exploring other combinations of instrumentation, further developments occurred in the
EAST MEETS WEST and CELESTIAL NILE, works for companies such as DanzaHoy in
Venezuela. Combining these approaches has revealed new levels of sound shaping and complex
textures within the music on
Offered an opportunity to tutor music, I was asked to
design a dance-music course to my specification, looking at
the question: “What would a dancer want to know about

Advanced Rhythm and Music Studies for Dancers became
the icing on the cake, and quite possibly the cake itself.
The course ran for eight years until the general curriculum
took a different direction as things do.
Contemporary Dance Musicians
History: Luminous Music educational programmes