Dark Elegies

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Ballet in one act with choreography and libretto by Tudor, music by Mahler, and design by Nadia Benois. Premiered 19 Feb. 1937 by Ballet Rambert at Duchess Theatre, London, with Lloyd, van Praagh, de Mille, Gore, and Laing. This setting of Mahler's Kindertotenlieder was Tudor's own favourite work and is considered by many to be his greatest. Following Mahler's song-cycle it portrays members of a community mourning the loss of their children after some unspecified tragedy and gradually moving from anguish to acceptance. The baritone sings on stage and the dancers, moving in a fusion of classical and expressionist styles, parallel his words with their own potent though often unspecific images. It has been revived by many other companies, including Ballet Theatre (in a re-staging by Tudor, New York, 1940), National Ballet of Canada (1955), Dutch National Ballet (1972), Royal Ballet (1980), Paris Opera Ballet (1985), San Francisco Ballet (1991), Joffrey Ballet Company (2008), and by the Limón Company (1999) in a version without pointework.

Subjects: Dance.

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