In the middle somewhat elevated

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Ballet in one act with choreography and design by Forsythe and music by Thom Willems. Premiered 30 May 1987 by Paris Opera, Paris, with Guillem and Hilaire. It is a virtuoso piece of plotless dance in which classical lines are flamboyantly distorted and classical decorum yields to a mood of aggressive cool. In 1988 it was performed by Ballett Frankfurt, in Frankfurt as the centrepiece of a larger work, Impressing the Czar, with design by Michael Simon and Férial Münich and additional music by Leslie Stuck, Eva Crossman-Hecht, and Beethoven. The additional three sections are a series of surreal, theatrical meditations on the rise and fall of Western culture. In Potemkin's Signature (part 1) the stage is partially covered by a giant chessboard chequered by miniature towers around which the dancers reference great art works from the past; in La Maison de Mezzo-Prezzo (part 3) the art is sold off by auction, while in Bongo Bongo Nageela (part 4) a bacchanale of schoolgirls dance St Sebastian to death. The full version was subsequently revived for the Royal Ballet of Flanders in 2006. The one-act version has entered the repertory of many companies, including the Royal Ballet and the Mariinsky Ballet.

Subjects: Dance.

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