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'Delta': Gary Brooker's ballet

A revealing press-conference

Written on a commission from The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Gary Brooker composed his only ballet, Delta, in cooperation with the American choreographer Laura Dean.

Delta was presented in Copenhagen on 20 December 1990, and the following is a copious excerpt of a transcription from the press conference held at the theatre on 10 December. The only existing recording of this event has now surfaced.

On this occasion, both Gary Brooker and Laura Dean were present, although most of the questions were put to Gary. The majority of the gentlemen of the press had certainly come to interview Gary.

A week later, on 17 December 1990, Gary returned to supervise the last phase of work with The Royal Danish Orchestra, for which the ballet was composed and scored.

On that occasion, Karsten Overgaard and I - actually meeting each other for the first time - took the opportunity of having a further interview with Gary, the content of which has been published at BtP previously. Likewise, he appeared on Danish television.

Now, what interest could this nine-year-old event have today, February 2000? Quite a lot, actually. At the conference, Gary and Laura described their co-operation in full detail. These facts are unavailable elsewhere.

Well, Laura Dean IS very American - everything is "great", "terrific" or "wonderful" in contrast to Gary's dry Brit wit. His favourite phrase seems to be "a little bit". Then, Gary presented the forthcoming album, The Prodigal Stranger, as a Procol Harum album, although the actual line-up was unknown - perhaps even to Gary himself. According to him, all tracks had been composed at that time. Perhaps this was the first time, this reunion album was presented to the public anywhere in the world. Moreover, Gary was talking about another ballet, which has never surfaced.

And certainly, it was the first time, we heard about BJ Wilson's untimely demise just two months earlier. Talking about BJ, Gary wasn't quite able to control his voice, the tape reveals.

Other comments: the original tape contains almost 45 minutes of recording, so the transcription has been edited. The most interesting bits have been chosen, thus leaving a lengthy introduction by then ballet master - and ardent Procol fan - Frank Andersen to be available later on the Danish Procol site. (Nothing will be lost to the international Procoholic society, as he was commenting the Danish General Election held on the exact same date.) This historical event was recorded, then lost and forgotten at my home for nearly nine years.

Sorry, folks - but I hope you'll like it.

Thanks, Niels-Erik Mortensen

Other pages concerning the Brooker Ballet A big Brooker / Mortensen interview
Part one of the Press Conference transcript Part two of the Press Conference transcript

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