Masks was originally written as the American Dance Suite for 2 pianos. The American Dance Suite evolved to Masquerade, an orchestrated dance suite of vintage dances at a masked ball. The current version, Masks, contains new numbers and new orchestrations. Yes, there was a story and concept that drove the re-write! This story and concept is probably very different than the story that choreographers and dancers will develop, if using some or all of the musical numbers in Masks.
Be amused. The composer’s concept for Masks follows:
IF YOU NEED A STORY FOR MASKS
The setting is a dance party attended by costumed flappers, tuxedos, cowpokes and jivers. Masks deals with the costumes, makeup and masks people wear to hide their inner feelings and how these feelings play out in their relationships. Masks, literal and figurative, cover what is inside all.
DANCERS: BEA (a Cowgirl who plays the field); BEN (a Jiver who loves Bea); MOLLY (a Jiver who goes for Ben); CARLA (a Jiver who goes for Ben); COMPANY (Flappers, Tuxedos, Cowpokes and Jivers)
THE STORY: Bea leads her followers in a line dance with solos in Texas Two-Step. Ben, Molly and Carla enter and take the spotlight away from Bea, as they dance the Boogie, with all joining them. In Heartbreakers, Ben smitten with Bea, seeks to romance Bea; Molly and Carla seek to attract Ben; Ben is rebuffed and rebuffs Molly and Carla. In Flirt, Bea then plays the field, flirting with dancers, both male and female. In Masks Off, the dancers remove their masks and play out their feelings with solos for all. Masks On Conga is a finale in which Bea and Ben start separate Conga Lines and the the two lines merge into one Conga line.