Mystical Final Scene in SerenadeThe dancer who is carried off?
Posted 09 January 2012 - 01:18 PM
The subconscious is a mysterious thing in art, and in Balanchine's subconscious may have been the memory of one dancer who had planned to leave Russia with them, but who was drowned the night before under mysterious circumstances. I forgot the details as I don't have Taper's biography on my bookshelf, alas, but maybe someone does. Goldner says Serenade is full of opacity, This is one possible explanation. One dancer went to her death, and the others followed and did her homage.
Posted 09 January 2012 - 02:10 PM
It could be Olga Spessivtseva, the great ballerina who, some say, over-worked herself to madness. If memory serves, her initial mental breakdown at a hotel in NYC happened a year or so before Serenade was created; Balanchine was working in Europe but maybe he was aware of what was happening to her? [She worked with Balanchine on La Chatte, although she only performed it one or twice; Balanchine certainly knew of her when she was the leading ballerina of the Mariinsky-GATOB in the late 'teens/early 20s.]
The 'Olga story' works more for me, in that it is the sad conclusion of a ballerina's initial steps, as we see at the beginning of the ballet. She overdid it and faded into madness.
Posted 09 January 2012 - 02:38 PM
In the final scene of Serenade, which Nancy Goldner (Balanchine Variations) calls the Elegy, one dancer is lifted by three men who carry her, as she stands, moving her to a corner of the stage toward a glow of light, as the other dancers follow, in a mysterious ritual. Where is she going? Why?
Minor point, but Élégie is Tchaikovsky's name for the entire movement, which is actually the 3rd of the piece (Balanchine places it last).
Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:12 AM
Posted 10 January 2012 - 09:41 AM
Posted 10 January 2012 - 12:31 PM
Posted 10 January 2012 - 01:18 PM
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