The half-hour dance sequence will be set to "Third Stone From the Sun," "Fire," and "Little Wing," adapted for violin, guitar, flute, and drums in the classical style by violinist Nigel Kennedy. The work will be performed by 16 dancers in May 2005 at Covent Garden.
Bruce told the Times that the work, which is still being choreographed, will be abstract, but influenced by biographical aspects of Hendrix's life. "There will be qualities which may or may not come out, emotional elements based on Hendrix's life, " he said. "What I am mainly interested in is the structure and form of the music." The costumes for the work will reflect Hendrix's distinctive clothing.
Bruce has choreographed to popular music before. His 1992 ballet Rooster used music by the Rolling Stones and was performed by the London Contemporary Dance Theatre.
The announcement of Bruce's project has already caused some debate in the press and in the dance world about the blending of popular culture with established forms and about whether revered dance institutions like the Royal Ballet should guard and perpetuate traditional forms or evolve and update themselves.