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Music Dances:
Balanchine Choreographs Stravinsky

Conceived and written by Stephanie Jordan, Music Dances: Balanchine Choreographs Stravinsky celebrates the seminal collaboration of the 20th century between a composer and a choreographer. The video demonstrates the extraordinary range of ways in which Balanchine approached Stravinsky's music across the years, from visualization to counterpoint, from simple juxtaposition to multi-system interaction.

Jordan Video Shoot, Nancy McDill (piano) and Gabriel Schaff (violin).
Credit: Brian Rushton.

The major focus is Agon, but sections from many other Stravinsky/Balanchine ballets are analyzed, such as Apollo, Duo Concertant and Divertimento from "Le Baiser de la Fée." The video presents dancers from the New York City Ballet alongside studio musicians, Suzanne Farrell appears in interview, and there is rare archival footage of Movements for Piano and Orchestra in rehearsal prior to the premiere, and a 1960 telecast of Violette Verdy in the Bransle Gay of Agon. Brief performance clips are also included.

The video aims to reach a wide audience, non-specialists in dance or music, students as well as scholars. It is highly unusual as an exposition of dance analysis and guide to dance appreciation, which suffers from a dearth of literature, and it is a unique contribution within the area of relationships between dance and music. Video is an ideal medium for communicating this kind of information. The video is a visualization of a number of ideas from Stephanie Jordan's acclaimed book Moving Music: Dialogues with Music in Twentieth-Century Ballet (London:Dance Books, 2000), but it goes well beyond this publication to look at a wider range of Stravinsky/Balanchine techniques and repertory.

The video is available for purchase by educational institutions.

Stephanie Jordan is Research Professor of Dance Studies at the University of Surrey Roehampton and a widely published author. She holds degrees in both music and dance.
VHS or DVD/96 minutes

If you would like more information on Music Dances: Balanchine Choreographs Stravinsky or would like to make a contribution to this project please contact The George Balanchine Foundation.


 

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