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Gorey's "Lavender Leotard" and the NYCB mentality:some questions about the NYCB allusions


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#46 rg

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 07:39 PM

Martha Graham made a work called ERRAND INTO THE MAZE - 'inspired' by theseus and the minotaur, etc. except in this case the lead is a female dancer, seeking...

#47 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 10:07 PM

Welcome to the club, ViolinConcerto. Glad you found the thread. Any other cartoons you particularly liked or images that rang a bell with you?

... found the thread ...

Think Theseus, Ariadne, Minotaur, maze. Isn't there a ballet about that? :)


No Theseus ballets that I (just me) know of, but there is a pretty good re-telling of the search in the maze in Fellini Satyricon, accompanied by the Balinese Kejak (aka the "monkey chant").

I loved the Agon one ("I can't imagine now why this ever seemed so difficult"), and loved learning that "There are photographs of George and Lincoln in the brooches on their bodices" in "Nuts." I also imagine that "I made it myself out of a hundred and thirty-two keychains" refers to the beaded curtains. The Firebird/Swan Lake one made me nostalgic for the days of the old "snake" schedule, now gone, and for ballets that were programmed about six to eight times a season instead of three to five...... (And for performances where both are programmed, which I call "The battle of the birds.")

#48 Paul Parish

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 10:27 PM

I have always imagined that "I made it myself out of a hundred and thirty-two keychains" refers to Allegra Kent's readiness to do creative recycling -- to make a purse out of old tights, or -- she made something, like a chain-mail bodice (but not that -- I just can't remember what) out of a couple hundred safety pins....

She mentions this in her autobiography.

And Gorey LOVED Allegra.
PS She loved HIM-- if I remember right, when Gorey died, she wrote a long sweet memoir of him for Dance Magazine that made their relationship seem ... well, words fail me. With a sound track by Satie.

Edited by Paul Parish, 03 November 2007 - 11:18 PM.


#49 Helene

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 10:52 PM

I was racking my brain to try to remember in whose autobiography I read this, and Paul, you hit it on the head :)

#50 rg

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 05:35 AM

EG would sometimes refer to kent in his happy mentions of her as 'Leggy-poo' - wordplay combining, i assume, a version of 'allegra' and a gilbert&sullivan-ish ending.
his drawing of a frog partnering a pretty ballerina from a body of water was used by kent for her water-beauty book's party invite - it was reproduced initially in a boxed set of 'loose leaves' called F.M.R.A. and perhaps elsewhere since.
(EG was very fond of gilbert&sullivan; he designed at least one Mikado i know of and perhaps other works by G&S.)

#51 Mel Johnson

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 07:07 AM

I'll bet that he could have done a bang-up job on Ruddigore!

#52 ViolinConcerto

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 12:20 PM

I have always imagined that "I made it myself out of a hundred and thirty-two keychains" refers to Allegra Kent's readiness to do creative recycling -- to make a purse out of old tights, or -- she made something, like a chain-mail bodice (but not that -- I just can't remember what) out of a couple hundred safety pins....

She mentions this in her autobiography.

And Gorey LOVED Allegra.
PS She loved HIM-- if I remember right, when Gorey died, she wrote a long sweet memoir of him for Dance Magazine that made their relationship seem ... well, words fail me. With a sound track by Satie.



I happily bow to your knowledge. I love her persona (since I only saw her dance maybe once or twice I can't talk about that).

I am really enjoying the wonderful and vivid memories you are all posting. Thanks so very much.

#53 popularlibrary

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Posted 04 November 2007 - 01:09 PM

Other throws that have gone MIA:[list]
[*]The ones in Second Movement Brahms, which used to be so thrilling. The man would toss the woman and then catch her in a back-bending swoon. Gorgeous moments which are still lovely, even only a shadow of its intended effect.


Is there anyplace to post photos here? I have a couple of beautful shots of this 'swoon' with McBride and Ludlow, which also give some idea of why the lift is no longer around without a partner of Ludlow's ability.

I posted on another thread what I think most of us oldtimers probably remember - that the Scotch Symphony throw was eliminated after a performance in which Anthony Blum tripped and fell over backwards with Tallchief on top of him.

As for Allegra Kent, EG certainly adored her (so did I), even though she came and went unpredictably and her dancing got (technically speaking) vaguer and vaguer. But what an presence she was! She came as close to replacing Diana Adams in his affections as any ballerina. She imprinted herself so completely on the Symphony in C adagio, it became almost unthinkable without her, and only Adams could be preferable in the Agon pas de deux. And in the Midsummer Night's Dream divertissment in act 2, I remember that the choreography - even the presence of the piece - made no sense to me until the night she danced it, and suddenly it became the heart of the ballet's vision of love. If EG and the rest of us adored her, she more than gave us cause.


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