excerpt from 'Memories and Commentaries' pp. 124-125 (192 words)

excerpt from 'Memories and Commentaries' pp. 124-125 (192 words)

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Memories and Commentaries

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The first staging of The Wedding, at the Théâtre de la Gaïté, Paris, in June 1923, was generally compatible with my conception of the ritualistic and non-personal. As I have already said, the choreography was expressed in blocks and masses: there are no individual personalities. The curtain was not used, and the dancers did not leave the stage even during the lamentation of the two mothers, a wailing ritual that presupposes an empty set. Changes of scene, from the bride’s to the groom’s to the church, are created solely by the music. Finally, although the bride and groom are always present, the guests talk about them as if they were not, a stylization not unlike Kabuki theatre. / At the first rehearsal, the four pianos were placed at the corners of the stage, thus being separated from the percussion ensemble, as well as from the chorus and solo singers in the pit. Diaghilev mistakenly argued for this arrangement on aesthetic grounds: the four black, elephantine shapes were a coup de theatre. My original idea was what the whole company, musicians and dancers, share the stage as equal participants.

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excerpt from 'Memories and Commentaries' pp. 124-125 (192 words)


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