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poetic balletfrom an accompanist's perspective

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#16 bart


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Posted 03 March 2013 - 08:36 AM

I'm intrigued by Symond's use of "morbid" in "morbid grace."

I love O'Hara's "you were always turning into something else." Only a truly interesting dancer --and one capable of a varied repertoire -- provokes a response like that.

#17 KarenAG


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Posted 03 March 2013 - 08:41 AM

'perfection's broken heart' - how that applies to the incomparable dancing of Tanaquil LeClerc.

#18 Quiggin


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Posted 03 March 2013 - 11:40 AM

Also "you refuse to become a deer or tree."

There's a mention of Tanquil LeClercq in the footnote to Ronald Johnson's Ark 53: The Balanchine Spire:

I was taught any poet worth his salt ought name the unnameable, preferably syllable by syllable. The Balanchine Spire, conceived to be a waltz for two dancers, I wonder would scarce be readable else. Impossible surely to name the body as it so moves.

For the study I read all the classic texts, extracting necessary words and moves, remembering the while Mr. B's angular poesies (indeed, too, Tanaquil LeQuerq, at the Opera House in San Francisco, when I was a private first class in the Infantry) and Apollonian gestrued clarities, all the long years.

You can also hear Gerard Manley Hopkins in background of the Marianne Moore poem.

#19 Kerry1968



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Posted 03 March 2013 - 08:47 PM

I'm intrigued by Symond's use of "morbid" in "morbid grace."

Me too! I suppose the dancer's grace is "morbid" because the spectator-voyeur's gaze is not returned. The spectator senses the dancer's interior life ("she dances for her own delight"), but he can't enter into it. He experiences the non-return of the gaze as a kind of death. There is a multiplication of images, but not of meaning. Her grace is vague, ambiguous, morbid, because the spectator experiences it as unfathomable.

The 2nd poem is also organized around the gaze. However, in this poem the gaze is structured around mutual recognition. The gaze is the site of an animating desire, of performer for spectator, and spectator for audience: "[font=Arial, sans-serif]The eyes of all that see / [/font][font=Arial, sans-serif]Draw to her glances, stealing fire / [/font][font=Arial, sans-serif]From her desire that leaps to my desire." And here I will conclude my amateur attempt at literary criticism :)[/font]

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