Dance Symphony, The Greatness of Creation

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(also The Magnificence of the Universe; orig. Russ. title Tants simfoniya—Velichiye myrozdaniya)

Ballet in one act with choreography by Lopukhov, music by Beethoven, and costumes by Pavel Goncharov. Premiered 7 Mar. 1923 by GATOB in Leningrad with Balanchine (then still Balanchivadze), Gusev, Lavrovsky, Mikhailov, and Danilova. This setting of Beethoven's 4th Symphony was one of the first and most ambitious attempts at a symphonic ballet. Its four themes are monumentally titled: ‘Birth of Light’, ‘Triumph of Life over Death’, ‘Awakening of Nature in the Sun of Spring’, and ‘The Cosmogonic Spiral’, and its choreography (for eighteen dancers) runs a gamut of forms from strict classicism to free invention. Although performed only once (it was fiercely criticized—partly on the grounds of obscenity), the ballet exerted considerable influence on other choreographers. In 2000, Natalia Voskresenskaya reconstructed the work for NBA Ballet, Tokyo.

Subjects: Dance.

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