Anthony_NYC

Balanchine's "Luna Park"

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I wonder if anybody can help me with a little more information about the "Luna Park" section of Charles B. Cochran's 1930 Revue (link below). Most of all, I'd like to confirm that the Luna Park this is about is the original one on Coney Island; and, if so, which of the creators are known to have visited it. (Was Kochno ever there?) Was any element of the actual Luna Park depicted on the stage, or was it more general or impressionistic? And finally, do we know for sure who choreographed this section? The liner notes for the recording state it was Balanchine, but the Balanchine Catalogue doesn't really spell it out, unfortunately.

 

http://balanchine.org/balanchine/display_result.jsp?num=99

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Here's one of Christopher Wood's costumes. Wood also did some sets for Diaghilev's Romeo & Juliet.

 

http://www.artnet.com/artists/christopher-wood/costume-design-for-the-three-legged-juggler-and-4dWMVYUjcKzHXk1bADhWHg2

 

Ashton used the Berners Luna Park music for his ballet Foyer de Danse ("a kind of Degas thing"):

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw9fP7FBKHo

 

added: study for Luna Park. This bears the influence of Picasso's curtains, esp that of Parade – along with Franz Marc horses – but nice nonetheless.

 

http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=5813859&CID=54470031002

 

Maybe the Times of London archive could possibly yield some reviews from 1930 –  a library might have access to the database. Be interesting to see what you come up with.

Edited by Quiggin

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The six-armed lute player in the first link above made me think a bit about Apollo.

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      Anthony, I was born in Brooklyn and I’m interested in the history of the borough.  Luna Park existed between c.1903 and c.1944 so it appears that some of the creators of the ballet could have visited it.  It seems the amusement park primarily had rides.  While I have not been to Luna Park, it closed before I was born I have been to Steeplechase, which I believe was similar.  My educated guess is that the ballet is not about the original amusement park in Coney Island.  Here is a map of Coney Island, 1905-6.  Luna Park is in the upper center left Steeplechase is in the lower left.  The Brooklyn Rapid Transit Station on Stillwell Avenue is where the current Coney Island “Subway” Station is.  This part of Coney Island had a “lower class” somewhat unsavory reputation, something that would be a lot of fun. 

 

      Tom,

Edited by Tom47

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