Dead Can Dance

From Academic Kids

Dead Can Dance is a band that comprises Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry. Formed in Melbourne in 1981 and initially based in Australia, they disbanded temporarily in 1998 and have reunited for a world tour in 2005.

After being relatively unsuccessful in Australia, they moved to London where after one year they signed up to alternative rock label 4AD. They continued to work close together, until later in the 1990s when they started to grow apart. Lisa Gerrard returned to Australia, while Brendan Perry moved to Ireland. It is speculated that the distance between the members was an influence in their eventual break-up.

Assigning a musical genre to Dead Can Dance is difficult, as their style was particularly eclectic. However, their early work could be considered gothic music. In their later work, after The Serpent's Egg, Dead Can Dance would take as sources ancient or foreign music from around the world, with Gerrard singing glossolalia, giving them a very distinctive style (world music). As a result their later albums sound quite different from the first three.

The name "Dead Can Dance" is often misleading. Although this group is quite popular among the gothic sub-culture, the name simply means putting life back into something that is dead, or no longer in use. The instruments that are used are either ancient, forgotten or no longer desirable to most musicians. Says Perry:

Missing image
"Dead Can Dance" cover, 1984
The album artwork [of their self titled first album], a ritual mask from New Guinea, attempted to provide a visual reintrepretation of the meaning of the name "Dead Can Dance". The mask, though once a living part of a tree is dead; nevertheless it has, through the artistry of its maker, been imbued with a life force of its own. To understand why we chose the name, think of the transformation of inanimacy to animacy.... Think of the processes concerning life from death and death into live. So many people missed the inherent symbolism, and assumed that we must be "morbid gothic types," a mistake we deplored and deplore... [1] (


There also exists a live album, Toward the Within, and a compilation, A Passage in Time. A compilation box-set was released in 2001 under the title Dead Can Dance (1981-1998), which also contains early demos and a DVD of the concert at the Mayfair Theatre in Santa Monica, California. A slimmer 2-cd version was released in 2003 under the title Wake. Dead Can Dance will also release limited edition 2-cd boxes of each concert of the 2005 tour.

External links

es:Dead Can Dance pl:Dead Can Dance zh:死亡之舞


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