What's going on in "Agon"
Posted 06 December 2002 - 04:15 AM
It put me in mind of a time I was watching Catherine Turocy and her company dance excerpts of pre-classic dances, and when one girl stepped forward to dance a gigue, I was immediately struck..."My God, it's 'Agon' "!
So the question is put to the group: When you see "Agon", do you recognize the pre-classic forms (ah, pace, Louis Horst) which undergird the dances? For people who have seen it, what did MacMillan do with it in his version? Are there plots or plotlets going on in the dances in anyone's mind? What say, this looks like a good opportunity to open up a work of later 20th-century genius. I'd be interested in your insights.
Posted 16 December 2002 - 04:56 PM
Posted 16 December 2002 - 05:26 PM
"With remarkable alacrity MacMillan...studied the score and digested it sufficiently well to consider composing his own choreography. It was presented at Covent Garden in August 1958. The music, with its sharp short rhythms and epigrammatic structure carried much further the idiom with which Covent Garden audiences had only slowly come to terms in Ashton's Scenes de ballet. The wry, enigmatic mood suggested by MacMillan and his designer Georgiadis introduced a new and very personal note...."
grace, I don't think Leigh's Agon piece is on line; Ballet Review articles are not, to my knowledge.
Posted 18 December 2002 - 12:10 PM
Posted 18 December 2002 - 12:17 PM
Posted 18 December 2002 - 12:29 PM
Posted 18 December 2002 - 12:56 PM
i was just wondering what sort of 'look' macmillan's version had?
Posted 18 December 2002 - 01:06 PM
One of my Curiosity Triple Bills would be:
Serenade (Fokine's ballet to that music)
Apollo (Adolf Bolm, danced at the Library of Congress by Bolm and Ruth Page)
Posted 18 December 2002 - 01:19 PM
alexandra wrote, about macmillan's agon costumes
this reminded me that, growing up with ballet books full of B/W photos, i must have unconsciously made a lot of assumptions about colours. the first time i saw symphonic variations, i was SO shocked by the backdrop - i suppose i must have assumed this ballet WAS in B/W or at least shades of grey - which would have been so appropriate...so, to see its vivid lime green was genuinely shocking.
"obviously you can't tell the color"
of course, i came to appreciate the colour - and all the more so when i understood where it came from - but was amazed at how wrong i had been, in my unconscious assumption.
not meaning to misdirect the topic...
Posted 18 December 2002 - 01:37 PM
Posted 18 December 2002 - 03:56 PM
Posted 10 January 2003 - 10:20 PM
It opens with the full cast (public), then the two lighthearted pas de trois (not really public or private), and devolves into the (private) erotic encounter of the pas de deux. If there is any trace of preclassical dancing in the pas de deux, it is well hidden, but here again is a microcosm of the history of dance from people's everyday movements into a ritualization of same, into folk/social forms, into theatricalized forms. Only it's in reverse in Agon. Until the full cast returns.
I'm beginning to feel that I'm going pretty far out on a limb here. Help! Does this make sense? :confused: I'm gonna go think some more on this.
Posted 11 January 2003 - 03:28 AM
I believe that the pas de deux is marked "Sarabande" in the score, and I couldn't see the preclassicism in it either, until I saw Turocy's dancers (mentioned above) doing the original dance. Of course, Balanchine quickly takes off from the historic base, but the few steps and figures that make up the sarabande are there.
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