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Dance Research Presentation

Presentation of Senior Dance Thesis (DANCE 487S) December 7, 2012
by

Betsy Boxberger

on 7 December 2012

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Transcript of Dance Research Presentation

Petipa Agon Classicism Greek and Roman aesthetic values - elegance, symmetry, and precision
Emphasize form, simplicity, proportion, and restraint
Established ideas take precedence over individual expression and emotionalism
Ballet - established vocabulary; tradition from 17th century; clear, elegant lines Seen in structure, musicality, and technique of Petipa's productions.
The Sleeping Beauty (1899)
Three structured acts
Petipa introduced pas de deux format
a court-based hierarchy in the dancers, elaborate visual displays, and a grand finale
A musical collaboration between Tchaikovsky and Petipa
Academic dance steps alternating with narrative pantomime Classicism in Petipa vs Neoclassicism Return to idea of classicism
Guided by previous art
Léon Bakst – new art cannot be created without lessons from art of yesterday
Staying loyal to form but developing into something new Classic Structure Rationality and proportions
12 dancers
Twelve-tone music
Ratios of 2:1 in gender
Sections based on 17th century French court dances
Saraband-Step, Galliard, Bransles
Divertissments
Pas de Deux
Can discern partnering, variation, and coda sections Divertissements - dance interludes that do not directly further the story line but often serve as allegorical messages The Sleeping Beauty
Act III - dances of fairytale characters entertain at wedding celebration
all stories that end with marriage, continuing the ballet's message that everyone is destined to get married
Agon
plotless ballet
can still make allegorical comment Pas de Deux The Sleeping Beauty
Rose Adagio - can Aurora support herself?
In life and in dance
Lifts, pirouettes, balances
Supported attitude balances
www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAbrbbZZOcg&t=1m55s Agon
About relationship between man and woman - but what is that relationship?
Female not portrayed as frail or helpless
Equality between dancers - partners investigating movements
Lara O'Brien, principle dancer with Carolina Ballet (interview clip)
from tension in choreography
joint effort to reach unusual positions

An attitude, but tension gives different meaning than Sleeping Beauty Finished in 1957
Music by Igor Stravinsky
Balanchine's most innovative work
'Agon' is Greek for 'conflict'
conflict in choreographic tension
conflict between classicism and
neoclassicism Classic elements
Structure
Focus on dancing
Precise Musicality
Academic nature of steps Neoclassic elements
Relationship between man and woman
Musical emphasis
Approach to steps
Neoclassic movements Focus on dancing Both choreographers followed movements where dance wasn't the primary element
Flashy, acrobatic 'show girl' dances in Petipa's time
Dramatic productions of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes focused on synthesis of art
Petipa brought focus back to dance
Divertissements - more dancing, less pantomime
More pointe work
Balanchine steered trend back to appreciation of technique
"The important thing in ballet is the movement itself." ~Balanchine
Put drama in choreography and musicality
Petipa's Musicality Collaborated with Tchaikovsky
Envisioned choreography and gave composer instructions
Choreography precise and precisely on the beat
Closely mirrored music
Humans have affinity for even rhythms Balanchine Balanchine's Musicality Valued music as Petipa did
Different approach to music
Skilled musician himself, studied score intensely before choreographing
His innate understanding of music enhanced the musicality of his choreography
Steps accentuated different melodies
Didn't necessarily follow music exactly
Steps kept their own energy and rhythms Unlike Petipa, did not keep steps squarely on the beat
Added syncopated rhythms and tempo changes
Unexpected speed keeps choreography exciting
Musicality of Agon requires meticulous execution
Even simple movements, like head placements, must be precise Influenced by African rhythms in America
nontraditional timing
syncopated rhythms
dynamic emphasis
'one' count, like jazz musicians
Accent is down in jumps Seamless connection between music and steps
Collaborated with Stravinsky on Agon
Victoria Lyras, former dancer with Pennsylvania Ballet
"See the music, hear the dance"
(interview clip 2)
Combination of two that gives spectacular aesthetic
Music provides impetus for steps
O'Brien said music is guide for dancers Danse d'école Academic style of ballet developed by Pierre Beauchamps at King Louis XIV's ballet academy
Codified positions and steps, beginning with the five basic feet positions
Petipa perpetuated tradition of French academic style at Imperial School
Choreography in danse d’école style is similar to classwork After Petipa Revered Petipa
Took choreography from him
Minkus Pas de Trois is restaging of Paquita
Danse d’école
Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux
created in homage to Petipa
brief, virtuosic demonstration of danse d’école style
Glinkus Pas de Trois
also created using danse d’école
difficult technique requires precision in execution
Minimalism
few movements in between
Challenging - no place to hide
Simplicity
Classic purity of opening of Serenade
"Master craftsman" - Victoria Lyras (clip 3) Choreographic Structure of Agon Danse d’école similar to Petipa
Academic step follows academic step
Could be taken straight from academic class
Classic purity and precision
See elegant lines At times steps punctuated by something un-academic
Fall back and flex foot
Women's section displays tension
Half the dancers in classic port de bras, half in splits
Grande plie followed by collapse
Grande battements or jazzy kicks? Classic Neoclassic Neoclassic Choreography Balanchine known for his neoclassic steps
flexed hands and feet
jazzy flicks
turned in legs
displaced alignment
turns on demi-pointe
mobilization of the pelvis and hips
Influenced by Africanist principles
Agon features both danse d’école choreography and neoclassic steps Pas de deux-Steps Classic positions reached in unusual ways
O'Brien describes an example of this in the pas de deux (clip 4)
Partners always connected
creates different feeling than in class, even if academic steps are the same Recycling The process of renewal by which old things are made suitable for reuse. Recycling combines materials from many different objects.
Artists gather ideas from multiple sources and recreate them into a unique idea. Born in France in 1818
One of the most influential figures in ballet history
Chief choreographer for Imperial Theatre in St. Petersburg
Established foundation of Russian technique
His productions defined Russian style of the 19th century
Known for classic structure, musicality, and technique Born in St. Petersburg in 1904
Choreographed an estimated 425 works
Founded the School of American Ballet and NYCB
Choreography celebrated for its musicality and exquisite movement
Trained in Russian school, influenced by ideas of Petipa
seen in choreographic structure, focus on movement, musicality, and academic style
However, influenced by other things in America, and developed own style Balanchine acknowledged Petipa's ideas and then pushed beyond them. He continually surprised audiences with his musicality and unexpected approaches to classical steps. Simultaneously reaching back and pushing forward, he rejuvenated and advanced the art, pushing dancers and choreographers to new limits.
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