Tuesday, January 26, 2021
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Tag: #ballet

🎧 One Thing to Listen for Ravel’s Boléro

A single rhythmic cell is repeated 150+ times, yet the piece is far from static. How does Ravel do it? Timbre, orchestration, and one really long crescendo.

🎧 One Thing to Listen for in Le Ballet Royal de...

1653, France. The "Sun King" takes over the ballet stage and the reins of the country: a legendary moment of art-as-propaganda...

Playlist: What is contemporary ballet?

What is contemporary ballet? A school of dance that draws inspiration from the past but speaks the language of the present? Let's put tu and tu together...

This Week in Music History: The riotous premiere of The Rite...

The riot that took place at The Rite of Spring premiere in Paris is almost as notorious as the work itself. Stravinsky set the stage for scandal....

This Week in Music History: The premiere of Strauss’s Salome (1905)

Strauss’s opera Salome scandalized the musical world in 1905—and again in May 1906, when, as Ross vividly describes, the Austrian premiere in Graz drew together an astonishing array of musical luminaries, from Mahler to Schoenberg to Puccini. “Like a flash of lightning,” Ross writes, “it illuminated a musical world on the verge of traumatic change. Past and future were colliding; centuries were passing in the night.”

Symphonic Ballets, Balletic Symphonies… Tchaikovsky and Dance Music

Tchaikovsky’s three ballet scores are all revered today, but they drew mixed—sometimes very negative—reviews when they were first performed. "The melody is too… how can I say it? Too confused, too capricious—in a word, it was not written 'balletically.'” (St Petersburg News, 1877) That was a critic’s verdict after the premiere of—wait for it—Swan Lake.

So you think you know dance?

Which animal is responsible for Nikiya's death in La Bayadère, one of ballet's most tragic moments? Just how long is the typical tutu in the Romantic ballet? Can you recognize what ballet basics like an arabesque or a grand jeté look like on stage? Let's find out!