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What's going on in "Agon"


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#31 Alexandra

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Posted 11 January 2003 - 03:29 PM

Nureyev used one of the court dances (Marchonesses? I dont' remember; someone please correct me) as his solo in Sleeping Beauty II. It may well have been a Sarabande, but I couldn't swear to it -- someone else may well be able to clarify.

I didn't mean to imply that Agon was "about" LeClercq's illness -- but I think it's possible that the passivity/movement idea could have come from it. It's not that the pas de deux was intended for LeClercq.

Grace, good to see you again -- thanks for the history. It's interesting how this happens, isn't it? The waltz had a very different beginning, and the tango may well be a stately dance in 100 years.

Interesting how time smoothes the edges off of living things -- art, that is -- as well as stones!

#32 Ari

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Posted 11 January 2003 - 03:32 PM

Originally posted by Leigh Witchel
Interestingly, and I can't recall the source for this, but I know that an opinion expressed was that had Leclercq been able she would have been in Agon, but in the second pas de trois - Melissa Hayden's role rather than Adams'.

This is interesting, Leigh — do you recall who said that? Arlene Croce once wrote that in using Adams in the pas, Balanchine was essentially creating by proxy for Le Clerq.

#33 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 11 January 2003 - 03:59 PM

Ari, I'm afraid I don't recall the source. I'm a little worried about how perfect my recall is after 6 years. I know I recall the gist of assertions, but the details I could be interpolating. :(

#34 grace

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Posted 11 January 2003 - 04:04 PM

RE leigh's

I have to admit that I think that saying that the pas de deux in Agon is "about" Leclercq's illness or even that it comments on it is more than I'd be willing to assert...

and alexandra's

I didn't mean to imply that Agon was "about" LeClercq's illness...

i hope these comments aren't in response to my post, which didn't mean to even slightly suggest this. can my words be read to suggest that, or is it another post you refer to? not meaning to affix 'blame' (!), but just to be sure my post isn't misunderstandable that way. if it is, i'll edit it. :(

i was thinking more along the lines that you both go on to put forward - just that 'something seen' went into the psyche (balanchine's)...and came out in another form.

#35 Alexandra

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Posted 11 January 2003 - 04:06 PM

I was responding to Leigh's -- I understood yours, grace, to be as you wrote above. (And Leigh may have as well and was just adding. I added my comment because when people come halfway in on a thread, as often happens, it's easy to have misreadings.)

#36 carbro

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Posted 11 January 2003 - 05:23 PM

Originally posted by Leigh Witchel
. . . several people I interviewed mentioned Balanchine's fascination with Mitchell's and Adam's skin color.  It was less a race issue with him than almost a design one, the patterns produced by white and black skin together fascinated him.

Not to discount the design value of contrasting skin tones, but I was once told that Adams' having been something of a Southern Belle played a part in the casting, that Balanchine was deliberately tweaking segregationists, even if in ways they may not have realized.

(I intend no implication that Adams herself held racist views.)

#37 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 11 January 2003 - 05:32 PM

Actually, you can see something of it in the 1960 kinescope, Carbro. Not the sense of Adams being Southern, or a sense of race, but a sense of class, and of worlds colliding. Adams holds herself in a very patrician manner, and as Mitchell mentioned in those interviews, there is a "nervous intensity" to her; not fidgety, but in the sense of a coiled spring that has to be kept under tension not to release it. Mitchell seems to be trying to affect her, and she seems to be attempting to remain aloof. It's that sense I get from the performance that makes the connection with Leclercq seem a bit less apt to me.

#38 Mel Johnson

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Posted 11 January 2003 - 05:48 PM

Originally posted by Leigh Witchel
Mel, by the "opening" of the pas de deux, do you mean the entree up until the point where the dancers pose in pointe tendue back and the music pauses?  


No.

#39 carbro

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Posted 12 January 2003 - 02:37 AM

Is not Prokofiev's slow dance at the Capulet ball a sarabande? Does MacMillan's resemble what it actually would have looked like?

#40 Paul Parish

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 10:15 PM

FABULOUS thread.

Carbro, a sarabande is in 3/4, very slow. Prokofiev's "dance of the Knights" (in Lavrovsky's version, the "pillow dance") is a march in 2/2.

Or are you thinking of Juliet's dance with Paris? THAT one is a slow dance in triple metre.

#41 carbro

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 10:45 PM

Carbro, a sarabande is in 3/4, very slow. Prokofiev's "dance of the Knights" (in Lavrovsky's version, the "pillow dance") is a march in 2/2.

You're asking what I was thinking in 2003? :o :dry: Actually, pretty sure I had the pillow dance in mind. Thank you for the answer, though!


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