Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” and Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring “ are two of the most influential ballets to ever be recorded. Their ballets have been played and duplicated for many years. I will start this paper with a summary of each composer which will include where they are from culturally, geographically and musically. Then I talk about each ballet. Where it was written, the story behind each piece, and its reception now and its reception at the time it was published. I will also include the popularity of each ballet in other forms such as Disney. Finally, I will provide a detailed concert report of each ballet.
Modern dance was created as a rebellion against the prevalent dance forms of the time, ballet and Vaudeville. It is a form of theatrical dance, known for its continual fusion of non-western style and ideas, which allows for a fresh source of movement inspiration. Choreographers rejected what they classified as the inflexible and imperialistic nature of ballet, and in order to be taken seriously as artists rather than simple entertainers they created a new art form. Artists Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, and Ruth St. Denis are considered to be the pioneers of modern dance in America. Dance is a social institution, recognized as being an important function in civilized life. The following essay will focus on the theory and work of artist Isadora Duncan, while incorporating lecture notes and articles of both authors Sally Bane and Ann Daly to explain the historical situations that culminated in the development of early modern dance. Arising from the 20th century modern dance was a form of cultural collaboration and exploration, as well as a resistance to colonial repression. Modern dance allowed for the experimentation of the new as well as a freer form of dance movement. Choreographers drew on exotic sources, and example of this illustrated in the work of Isadora Duncan with her use of Greek culture as a movement inspiration. Artists act as both the choreographer and performer creating their own conventions, or dance language.
Dance is an ever evolving form of art; in much the same way that one can categorize and differentiate between eras and styles of architecture one can also do so with dance. These eras at times have sharp delineations separating them from their antecedents, other times the distinction is far more subtle. Traditional forms of dance were challenged by choreographers attempting to expand the breadth and increase the depth of performance; preeminent among such visionaries was Seattle born dancer and choreographer Mark Morris. Mark Morris' began as one of the millions of hopeful individuals attempting to simply make a career in dance; he not only succeeded but managed to have a lasting effect on the entire landscape of dance.
Alvin Ailey is known for his huge impact in the dance world. His insight on life in the rural South is what inspired him to create some of his best choreographies. Alvin Ailey’s first encounter to dance was recitals of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and Katherine Dunham Dance Company. He promoted modern dance and introduced African-American in participating in modern dance. Ailey often felt that African-Americans had limited opportunities—he wanted to change that. One of Ailey’s goals was creating his own modern dance theater. Which is famously known as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater or AAADT. The American Dance Theater (or AAADT) was founded by Alvin Ailey in 1958. It consists of thirty dancers led by Robert Battle. It was also the first professional company to welcome dancers of different ethnical backgrounds. The purpose of this theater was to show other choreographers the exquisiteness of African-Americans as well as show their sophisticated style in dancing. By founding his own theater, Ailey wanted to show others the many talents African-American dancers could display. He also wanted to express the struggles that African-Americans faced. While, his performances were based on African-Americans’ struggle for freedom and achieving a sustain life they were also about expressing their cultural heritage. Throughout his choreography Ailey’s performances created raw emotions that the audience could relate to. His dancing style was based on his memories of growing up
The 20th century saw a shift in dance as new forms were created and artists began entertaining audiences in new ways. The rise of Jazz music and the swing era allowed a couple of tap dancers, commonly known as the Nicholas Brothers, to gain fame. The Nicholas Brothers questioned what dance could be by pushing the human body to the limits the likes of which had not been seen before. Other innovations in their dance such as their vernacular style, informal training, and unique musicality directly opposed many of the virtues of classical ballet. Through my own interpretations of their work as well as through the use of primary and secondary sources it is clear to see that the Nicholas Brothers opposed classical ballet through their style, musicality,
Jerome Robbins’s incredible dance history and background is what has left him ranked so highly in the musical theater industry today. From working to dazzle his audiences, Robbins can be held responsible for the industry’s serge in popularity over a short amount of time. It can be said by many that Robbins took a fresh approach to choreography to introduce to the world with a more energetic and dynamic performance to display. Robbins creative work elevated the role of dance in musical theatre, which was claimed to be the industry’s ‘Golden Era’.
As an American dancer, choreographer, theatre producer, director, and writer, Jerome Robbins changed the face of dance throughout the twentieth century. Today his contributions are still celebrated and even practiced within dance studios throughout the world. Being one of the most imaginative and influential creators of dance, Robbins had a wide range of works. His projects encompassed everything from classical ballet, film, musical theatre and television, all of which he devoted his heart and soul too. By finishing and perfecting almost every single one of his projects, Robbins has become a man of dance that is and will forever be remembered.
Isadora Duncan and Mary Wigman both started with the same idea of dancing, and how they should incorporate human movement instead of ballet that was more unnatural to the body. Even though they had a similar thought about modern dance, they had one thing that made them very different, which was their choreography. Duncan pieces were lively and upbeat, and Wigmans were dark and mysterious. They both approached modern dance through a different eye. Even if they lived in two different parts of the world, “The American, as represented by Isadora Duncan, and the German, as represented by Mary Wigman,” (Cass 247), the world would then get two different choreographers that were evolving at the same time in history, which impacted the dance history.
In 1904 when Georgi Melitonovitch Balanchivadze was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, the world had no idea of the ballet master mind that was going to be introduced 10 years later. Balanchine started dancing at the Imperial School of Theater and Ballet (Or as it is more well known, the Kirov Academy) in 1914, much to his dismay. As a young boy Balanchine had wished to become a naval officer or a priest, it had not been his wish to dance, he ended up in the school by mere chance. His sister, however, did not get accepted.
Two great writers of American musical theatre, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, had one idea in common. They wanted to present to the American public a new and revolutionary musical that would stand out above the rest. They wanted to make an impact on the societies of the era. They wanted to be creative and do something that was considered rebellious. When they finally combined their ideas together they created an American masterpiece in musical theatre: Oklahoma!. It was the first Rodgers and Hammerstein collaboration, starting the most successful creative partnership in the history of American musical theatre.
The first roots of modern opera first appeared in Italy in the 17th century from the Camerata (an academy of Florentine poets, musicians, and scholars). The Camerata, inspired by ancient Greek drama, sung dialogues and choruses which were accompanied by musical instruments. The Camerata developed the “stile recitative,” in order to integrate drama, action, dialogue and narration. In this “sung speech,” a singer delivered a recitative melody with an actor’s dramatic and oratorical skills, achieving the goal of providing
For the history of Russian Classical ballet, it originated in a group of dance academies in Moscow and St Petersburg in the eighteenth century. At first the dancers were from poor backgrounds - usually from orphanages - but the Tsars were particular ballet enthusiasts and so the profile grew. However, in the nineteenth century some of the best French and Italian dancers and teachers went to Russia and ballet developed considerably more than in Western Europe where opera was preferred. It was under this climate that Russian ballet led the way in classical dance with such famous stars as Anna Pavlova, Mikhail Foskine and the legendary Nijinsky, who all trained with the Frenchman Marius Petipa at the St Petersburg Imperial Ballet.
On Friday November 3rd I had the pleasure of attending an evening of Opera titled Love Through the Ages with Maria Fortuna and Nancy Townsend at the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. Having never been to an Opera performance I had no idea of what to expect and was looking forward to this new experience. Fortuna was accompanied by multi-faceted pianist Nancy Townsend. These two musicians showed tremendous expertise and were able to keep my attention through the extent of the program.
During the middle phase of the course my interest began to peak more and more. One of the moments I remember most from what was dubbed “the transitionary phase”. This moment was during a class period when it became evident how far ballet has come over the years. The Rite of Spring was choreographed by Vaslay