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85. THE GODS GO A-BEGGING (also called LES DIEUX MENDIANTS)


Pastoral


Music: By George Frederick Handel, arranged by Sir Thomas Beecham on commission from Serge Diaghilev (selections from the following compositions written between 1707 and 1739: Rodrigo; II Pastor Fido; Teseo; Admeto; Alcina [four numbers]; two of the Opus 6 concerti grossi, including the Hornpipe movement from No.7). Book by Sobeka [Boris Kochno].

Choreography: By George Balanchine.

Production: Scenery by Léon Bakst (backcloth from first part of Daphnis et Chloé [Fokine], 1912). Costumes (with two exceptions) by Juan Gris (from Les Tentations de la Bergère [Nijinska], 1924).

Premiere: July 16, 1928, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, His Majesty's Theatre, London. Conductor: Sir Thomas Beecham.

Cast: The Serving Maid and The Shepherd [divinities in disguise], Alexandra Danilova, Léon Woizikowsky; Two Ladies, Lubov Tchernicheva, Felia Doubrovska; A Nobleman, Constantin Tcherkas; 6 Ladies; 6 Noblemen; 4 Servants.

Note: In the spirit of a fête champêtre by Watteau or Lancret. A shepherd wanders in among noble guests at an elaborate picnic; two aristocratic ladies invite him to dance with them, but he chooses to dance with a serving-girl. When indignant noblemen begin to chastise him, the shepherd and the maid cast off their humble dress and reveal themselves to be divinities in disguise.

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