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Allegra Kent — "A Midsummer Night's Dream” — Act II Divertissement Duet

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Posted (edited)

I’ve finally decided that it might be best to give this its own topic. To read more that’s been written  please go to

https://balletalert.invisionzone.com/topic/42228-allegra-kent-in-symphony-in-c-2nd-mvt/page/2/?tab=comments#comment-425706

Like others here probably, I’ve been watching a lot of ballet videos recently. Once again I come back to this, George Balanchine’s Act II Divertissement Duet from "A Midsummer Night's Dream,” as being one of ballet’s finest statements. It’s possibly the finest after the White Swan Duet from Swan Lake. The difference between this and the White Swan Duet is that the White Swan Duet is perhaps more distilled, more essence in fewer words. They’re both possibly among the finest overall artistic statements ever.

The beauty of the Midsummer Night's Dream duet comes from the * Range of Expression * , its meaning and the remarkable way that it’s presented. It was originated by George Balanchine with the wonderful choice of Mendelssohn’s music and then interpreted and presented by Allegra Kent with the extremely fine support of Jacques D’Amboise.

There’s so much that Allegra Kent is expressing, that varies from her love of her partner and her way of conveying this, to relating who she is and how she will make ‘who she is’ apparent. It also goes beyond in seeming to relate and explore who she is in relation to everything. I’ve written that it conveys ‘All of Shakespeare’ because this is what he explored and expressed and the duet and its performance touch on the most elevated and beautiful of this.

It’s described in lovely and highly descriptive dance motion as well as depthful theatrical expression. It combines the two and arrives at a poetic Panorama of Love and its place in the scope of everything.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Buddy
two minor typo corrections

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Good Heavens - how interesting. Thank you for posting that.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks, Rock.

What I’ve expressed is my perception. It’s based on a rather blurry video that I’ve watched over and over for several years, sometimes trying to immerse myself as much as possible and also trying to absorb as much detail as possible.

Yesterday evening, after my post, something quite interesting happened. I found a slightly clearer video of the same performance. Has my perception changed? Yes, somewhat.

She now seems much more into a dream, which certainly makes sense. This is now primary. Jacques D’Amboise is there to support her dream throughout. Although the dream is primary she does at times focus her attention on him, both to thank him and to show her love.

The ending is probably the most beautiful part of the duet. This is where Jacques D’Amboise lowers her almost to the ground with her in a backward reclining position. As a series of still images it’s a masterpiece. Add the continuity of motion and it becomes even more so. Jacques D’Amboise is both completely supporting her and releasing her into her dream.

Added: This could very well be where George Balanchine got his ending (without the erotic aspect). "Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss" by  Antonio Canova. This first version is in the Louvre, Paris and a second version is in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia. Also there's a copy in the Metropolitan in New York. George Balanchine could have seen any of these.

cupid_and_psyche.jpg

Edited by Buddy
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