Commissioned by the St Magnus Festival with funds from the Scottish Arts Council. First performed by The Fires of London in June 1978 in St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall.
The work takes as its starting-point a sequence of dreams related by Franz Kafka in his diaries of 1910. Eduardova was a Russian ballerina whom Kafka had seen dancing in Prague in the early part of this century. The music of The Dancer Eduardova is based on dancing, particularly the csardas which in his dream Kafka had asked the dancer to perform just one time more. Kafka's dream-sequences contain the uncomfortable contrasts of the grace of the dancer and the loathsome gestures of unconscious intriguers; there are abrupt changes of mood to sorrow and despair. Flowers presented by all the Princes of Europe appear in the dreams, as do trains and trams on which Eduardova travels with two vigorous violinists.