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Andrew

Obscure choreo. question

15 posts in this topic

Do you know of any ballets that depict the Nazi Holocaust or other human tragedies (modern day)? Any info would be great, thanks.

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I recall reading about an Anne Frank ballet with choreography by an Adam Darius. It was once available on VHS but I don't know if that is still the case. I did not see it or read anything about it.

Recently Ballet Florida performed a ballet on the same topic called "Anne Frank", with choreography by Mauricio Wainrot.

Kenneth MacMillan did a ballet,"Gloria", thematically concerned with World War I and inspired by Vera Brittain's "Testament of Youth", if memory serves.

[ 08-06-2001: Message edited by: dirac ]

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"The Green Table" is anti-war in general but not about a specific incident.

I think Joffrey did it a few years back and should be available on video somewhere.

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There is a school of thought which holds that while Jooss looks like ballet, walks like ballet, and quacks like ballet, it's not ballet! It's German Expressionist Theatrical Dance, i.e. modern.

Tudor did do both "Dark Elegies" and "An Echoing of Trumpets" which had a perceived anti-war theme, although the nature of the cataclysm was never explicitly spelled out in either.

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"Leningrad's symphony" by Schostakovich, choreography by Igor Belsky.

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Help! I've totally blanked out here, but doesn't ABT have a ballet in it's rep (somewhat abstract) in which the young men go off to war and die and the women are left to mourn??? I've clearly only seen this once, as I can't remember the name, music, choreographer, etc. - all of which would be very useful just now. Perhaps it had no specific program notes to that effect and the above was just my interpretation. Must be my "early onset Alzheimer's".... :o

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Sounds like a good libretto for "The Perfect Storm: the Ballet" if you substitute swordfish catching for war. Look, if they could make a musical out of the sinking of the Titanic...

Sorry for going off topic, I just saw the movie on cable and was so inspired by the bravery of George Clooney and Marky Mark that I had to pull it in somehow. :o

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John Cranko dedicated a ballet set in a concentration camp to Valery Panov. I saw it back in the'70's danced by Cranko's Stuttgart Company. I think the title was "Traces" but I'm not sure and will check it out. Kenneth Macmillan choreographed a work on a holocaust theme based on the Italian film "The Garden of Finzi-Cortini's". It was one of the very few Macmillan ballets that I missed, so I shall try and discover that title also.

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Mashinka, that MacMillan ballet is "Valley of Shadows", choreographed by MacMillan in 1982 for Alessandra Ferri, whose talent he had just discovered. I found it a better work than his "Different Drummer" choreographed for Ferri a year later.

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The Burrow was an early Macmillan ballet, which I haven't seen, but was supposed to represent Anne Frank's hiding place, as I recall. Wasn't Echoing of Trumpets supposed to have been based on the massacre at Lidice? It certainly has a WWII feel.

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Thanks for jogging my memory, Kevin.

The ballet I remember as being set in a concentration camp was indeed called Traces and Marcia Haydee was the featured dancer. Interestingly it was the last ballet Cranko created before his sudden death.

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Thanks to everyone for the info!!! Didn't expect so many replies to this. Appreciate it!

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Pilobolus premiered a peice at the American Dance Festival in '99 called "A Selection". It was a really interesting departure from Pilobolus' usual repertoire, with scenery by Maurice Sendak ("Where the Wild Things Are").

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Originally posted by felursus:

Help!  I've totally blanked out here, but doesn't ABT have a ballet in it's rep (somewhat abstract) in which the young men go off to war and die and the women are left to mourn???  I've clearly only seen this once, as I can't remember the name, music, choreographer, etc. - all of which would be very useful just now.  Perhaps it had no specific program notes to that effect and the above was just my interpretation.  Must be my "early onset Alzheimer's"....  :o

Sounds like "The Harvest According" by Agnes de Mille, music by Marc Blitzstein, an expansion of the "Civil War Ballet" from the musical Bloomer Girl.

[ 08-05-2001: Message edited by: Mel Johnson ]

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Didn't the Joffrey have a ballet about the Holocaust that was a collaboration between two choreographers? It came under fire because it was seen as being anti-semitic. I think I read about it in that book about the Joffrey Ballet. Anyone remember this?

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