Imperial Valley

Music composition for dance piece



This dance piece is based on a photograph taken by Dorothea Lang in California in 1936. During the Great Depression, a young couple, aged 24 and 17, are hitchhiking the U.S Highway 99. They left West Salem, a town in Northern California. In Imperial Valley, California, they work as field hands. Who is this couple? What is their story?


Choreographer Bernard Baumgarten took inspiration from the emotion exuded by this photograph, and presents a moment of poignant reality. His choreography wishes to bring out a moment of the life of this young but desperate family – a purely fictitious instant of what could have been the relationship between this couple at this very moment of their history.


This performance was part of "The Bitter Years", a collection by Edward Steichen (1879-1973), an American photographer, painter and curator, born an raised in Luxembourg.




Choreography – Bernard Baumgarten

Dancers Jennifer Gohier, Gregory Beaumont

Music Composition and arrangement Patrick Muller


Produced by the Centre National de l'Audiovisuel (CNA) and the Centre de Création Choréographique Luxembourgeois (Trois C-L)

Supported by SACEM Luxembourg



16 min.



Luxembourg, 2014