japonisme: the hommage continues

29 May 2009

the hommage continues

listen to anitra's dance while viewing
new york times, august 21, 1917


Adolf Bolm, who was the "brains" of the Russian Ballet in its American seasons, as Michael Fokine was in Europe, presented at the Booth Theatre last evening his latest assembling of exotic dances, called "Ballet Intime," drawn from original sources as various as Russia, India, Java, and Japan.

Among his associate artists, Roshanara led with a "Hindu Fantasy" in dark silhouette, danced to the air of the "Hindoo Song" that Alma Gluck sings, played on this occasion by Jerome Goldberg as a violin solo with orchestra.

There were also Roshanara's "Snake Dance," "Ceylon Harvest," and an East Indian Nautch, with Ratan Devi, the British India singer, who on a platform before the footlights gave some of her own familiar and the authentic folksongs and classics of the East.

Michio Itow of the Imperial Theatre, Tokio, staged his own "Wine Dance," suggesting the methods of modern Japanese art, and the "Fox Dance," in mask and eerie fantasy, recalling the courtly "Noh" dances of old Japan.

The principal new production, recently rehearsed here before a tour of the Summer colonies from Washington to Newport and Bar Harbor, was Mr. Bolm's adaptation of Saint-Saens's "Dance of Death" in the manner of the choreodramas of the Diaghileff troup, with Rita Zalmani for a tiptoe partner, and Marshall Hall as the grinning Death, who tunes the fiddle and takes toll of the dancers at last, an idea congenial to that of the composer of the "Macabre."

Eva Gauthier sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" in the intermission. Marcel Henrotte played Schumann's "Carnival" for piano during briefer pauses, and in conclusion there were Bolm/s "Assyrian" and "Prince Igor" dances from the Russian tour.

Opera and theatre goers in about equal measure made up an appreciative audience, that applauded the presentation of a laurel wreath to Mr. Bolm, who hopes later to produce here an American dance after the "Red Mask" of Edgar Allan Poe.

Bed! Bed! I couldn't go to bed!
My head's too light to try to set it down! Sleep! Sleep!
I couldn't sleep tonight.
Not for all the jewels in the crown!

I could have danced all night!
I could have danced all night!
And still have begged for more.
I could have spread my wings
And done a thousand things I've never done before.

I'll never know What made it so exciting;
Why all at once My heart took flight. I only know when he
Began to dance with me I could have danced,
danced, danced all night!

Eliza, in My Fair Lady

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Blogger Dominic Bugatto said...

Dancers create such wonderful silhouettes and shapes.

29 May, 2009 16:18  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

ooo --- nice observation. thanks for that, dominic.

29 May, 2009 18:32  
Anonymous evan said...

ack! help! my aesthetic is stuck in the wrong era! I love this stuff. It seems to have everything "contemporary" art lacks...well, tends to lack. Thank god (if you're so inclined) for the exceptions to the rule.

30 May, 2009 10:13  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

well, you're not there alone! :^)

don't you wish you could have gone to that concert??!

30 May, 2009 13:04  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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