AgonBallet in one act
Supersophisticated in its music and choreography, Agon created by late Stravinsky and mature Balanchine is undoubtedly "a joke of two geniuses". Calculated to highly experienced "balanchinists", first and most (both performers and spectators) , it crowns by itself the so-called Grecian-inspired triptych by Balanchine and Stravinsky.
Owing to sophisticated freak of mind and delicate calculation, the choreographer and the composer assembled, by common efforts, separate serial "building blocks" into their own "ideal urban ballet" which Agon is like, as a result. His dancers, perfectly working, but thinking machines, as they were called by Balanchine himself, served as initial material for these "blocks" if any troubles or disturbances could be seen in functioning of this "divine mechanism", the whole main structure of the ballet started going to ruin and the agony began.
There proved to be nothing Grecian in Agon but its name, translated as "struggle", "argument" or "contest". But when in 1954 Stravinsky and Balanchine set to work on Agon, they never got into argument. On the contrary, they worked in harmony, enjoying their joint creative process.
At the time Stravinsky took a great interest in dodecaphonia, that told on the score of the ballet. It was just number twelve to be the key to the composition, where playing a curious game on numerology can be observed. A twelve symbolies a full circle in many metaphysical conceptions. The creators of the ballet played the idea up from different points. Certainly, there are twelve dancers (8 female and 4 male) engaged in the ballet.
Naturally, it consists of twelve scenes, where all the different forms of solos, pas de deux, pas de trois, pas de quatre are presented. These dancing forms are also typical to the 17th century, when ballet just started arising under the French Royal Court. The authors of Agon even adopted from a manual of court dancing melodies of particular ancient dances, such as saraband, galliard, various branles, which were introduced into the ballet, interpreted in modern way. But in Agon these melodies, as well as classical dance itself, in general submit to the 20th century art regularities. They carry a powerful impulse of energy, escaping through a dancer, the medium.
Violetta Mainietse (text from the handbook, abridged)Characters
Awakening of FloraBallet in one act
The Awakening of Flora - Anacreontic ballet in 1 Act, with choreography by Marius Petipa and music by Riccardo Drigo. Libretto by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov.
The work was given a second premiиre for the general public on February 17/March 1, 1894 at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre with the same cast.
Electronic MusicDetailed information will be announced later