I have seen the following Anthony Tudor ballets and have been an admirer of the best of his creations over the last forty years and have particularly been moved by performances of the following works:-
Echoing of Trumpets
Pillar of Fire
The Leaves are Falling
Tudor's dance works, seem to undoubtedly find more more appeal with the introspective members of an audience especially when it is a dance audience brought up on academic classical ballet.
Anthony Tudor (born William Cook)in his ballets often reflects the emptiness that the “Economic Depression” following World War One which had left upon many of his generation, which he in turn, employed in his psychological ballets that pre-empted his social detachment from a number of areas of life.
Born 1909 into a fairly humble working class background, his father was a butcher and he found himself in 1924 working in Smithfield meat market as clerk amongst the daily sight of bloody carcasses of thousands of dead animals. He would in later life became a Buddhist as Ms Judith Mackrell recalls(see below).
There were dark phases of his childhood in London which were coloured by the economic depression that immediately followed the end of the 1914-18 war. Seeing men who had returned from the “War” who were depressed by unemployment and humiliated by the Poor Law which Tudor in the East End of London would certainly have witnessed.
He would have also known of or witnessed the hunger marches from Scotland and the North in the early 1920's as the global economy began to decline and inflation was rampant and the economy was depressed by 25% between 1918 and 1921 and did not recover until the end of the Great Depression in 1930.
It appears that Tudor grew up as a rather isolated person perhaps due perhaps to his latent (or otherwise) homosexuality in that rough, tough, milieu that he inhabited.
Having tyically left school aged 15 he must have found interests beyond his home background as at 19, he saw Anna Pavlova(or was it Lifar in “Apollon Musagete) dance and decided that this was the career he really wanted.
He maintained his employment from early morning to early afternoon in the raucus and noisy atmosphere of Smithfield Market and went to study with Marie Rambert in her evening classes following an interview with Cyril Beaumont who had recommended her.
He found himself with two lives as far apart as one could imagine. Tudor's keen observation of human nature and his somewhat isolated approach to life, made him an observer of types which he would later integrate into his choreography.
I saw him in London and Edinburgh Theatres on a number of ocassions and both he and Hugh Laing seemed to glide in another worldly atmosphere detached from those around them.
I noticed that often when Tudor was acosted, there was rarely a glimmer of a smile as he spoke.
On reflection it seems to me that it was in his detachment that his keen observation had been developed.
His ongoing interest and then devotion to Buddhism seemed to perfectly suit the somewhat distant disciplined aesthetic person he appeared to have become.
This distancing could become intimidating as a number of dancers have recorded.
I am sure that a number of his ballets will continue to be performed and admired for a long time yet.
Judith Mackrell, wrote the following about Anthony Tudor in 2004.