Dead Can Dance / d ɛ d k ʰ ə n d æ n S / (" The dead can dance "> in English), sometimes abbreviated DCD , is a group British-Australian, originally from Melbourne, Australia, mainly composed of contralto Lisa Gerrard and baritone Brendan Perry, formed in 1981, split in 1998 but reformed in 2005 and from 2012 for two world tours.
Dead Can Dance has been one of the spearheads of British independent record label 4AD, with other bands such as Bauhaus, Cocteau Twins, Pixies and Throwing Muses. Some members of these groups have also found under the banner "This Mortal Coil" for three albums, this name does not represent a group but rather the name of the project, on 4AD.
The founding member, Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard, have developed their own universe, evolving from the original cold wave to music inspired by liturgical and medieval incantations even magic, then to borrowing more and more frequent to traditional northern music -African, South American or Asian.
In 1981 in Melbourne, Brendan Perry formed Dead Can Dance with Simon Monroe (drums) and Paul Erikson (bass), soon joined by Lisa Gerrard (yangqin) whom Brendan met while performing in local clubs. The name of the group evokes an Aboriginal mask, apparently macabre but which should symbolize the ability of "inanimate" things to become animated (like musical instruments for example ...). In 1982, the band moved to London, which seemed more conducive to the ambition to play unconventional music. Simon Monroe remained in Australia, the trio recruits drummer Peter Ulrich, who lives in the same subdivision in the East End of London, and it is with him that they record demos they send to record companies. The first year is very difficult for musicians, who live on unemployment benefits.