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Harold Kreutzberg - Carmina Burana (Ruth Page)

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More from this collection. Ruth Page made two versions of Carmina, and this is the first. Harold Kreutzberg had made concert appearances with Ruth Page circa the 1930s and here he is the figure of Death. In her second version, Death was more immobile; here he has a lot of movement. It's a rehearsal film from 1965.


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Oh, this is serendipity -- I'm moderating a discussion about danced versions of Carmina in March, and didn't know about this one!

I assume you know about John Butler's version, staged for the Pennsylvania Ballet in 1966? I saw this once in the early 70s in Philadelphia, but confess to almost no memory of it at this point in time. I do remember thinking: what will they think of next in terms of music for the ballet?


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Woah, I hardly have to do any homework at all!

The Butler had a pretty good run, with several productions (as far as I know right now) I've seen chunks of the movie (set in multiple locations), but haven't ever seen a full live performance. I know that there have been many other stagings -- it's one of those choral works that people love to dance to.

Byrd is one of the choreographers in the panel, funnily enough. He runs a contemporary company here in Seattle now, and did an abbreviated, workshop version last year, setting the dance in a revival meeting context, which was an excellent fit. I'm not sure if he's continuing to work in that direction (the company is scheduled to do a full production later this spring) but it would certainly be an interesting variation. I'm curious to know how many other productions (if any) work outside of the original faux-Medieval style that Orff made reference to.

Since Spectrum Dance Theater (Byrd's ensemble) and Pacific Northwest Ballet are both performing Carminas this spring, it seemed like a smart choice to make use of that overlap -- I'm pleased to have a chance to participate.

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