Guitarist Susan McDonald

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Susan McDonald created Animal Ballets as a way to celebrate creatures who, though different from us, are every bit as invested in their lives as we are in ours. She films the animals in their own environments and then composes music which reflects their characters. In her concerts, she is the "orchestra" and the animals "performing" onscreen are the "dancers."

Susan has respectfully composed her music to flow naturally with the movements of the animals. While a bit of creative editing is involved, the animals have given their approval by acting beautifully, humorously and even sometimes outrageously.

THE AQUARIUM: a Marine Micro-Ballet for Guitar and Sea Creatures features the strange and funny occupants of a saltwater reef aquarium, with characters such as the cranky little Pom Pom Crab, the fabulously creative Decorator Crab and the bright red and very active Serpent Star.

For YASUNI: Dances from the Rainforest, Susan traveled deep into the Ecuadorian Amazon to film footage and compose music to interact with the natural sounds of the forest. In this groundbreaking piece, the music interacts with the sights and sounds of the fragile, frightening, mysterious and often magical rainforest.

The goal of Animal Ballets is to raise awareness of and appreciation for life forms which are not our own. It is only through that appreciation that we will be inspired to protect these amazing creatures, the fragile environments in which they live, and the wisdom they offer.

Susan is currently at work on a new Animal Ballet, THE PEACOCK's TALE, which will feature her pet peacock, Quetzalcoatl (aka "Binky") as he enlists other birds to help him find his missing tail.

YASUNI: Dances from the Rainforest