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Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

Orpheus - 3 ballet scenes

Stravinsky composed his ballet Orpheus in 1946 following a suggestion by the famous choreographer and dancer George Balanchine. Based on Ovid’s text, Stravinsky and Balanchine devised a short stage work in three scenes in which the action is mimed as well as danced. The music is predominantly reflective, though there are a few energetic dances that contain the uniquely spiky rhythmic surprises that are unmistakeable Stravinsky. Orpheus generally combines the detached restraint of Stravinsky’s neo-classical style with passages of langourous lyricism that subtly evoke the more expressive movements on the stage.

The various dances are:

Scene 1: Orphee; Air de danse; L’Ange de la mort et sa danse; Interlude

Scene 2: Pas de furies; Air de danse; Interlude; Aire de danse (Conclusion); Pas d’action; Pas de deux; Interlude; Pas d’action

Scene 3: Apotheose d’Orphee

© Jon Tolansky

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