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Revealing MasksExotic Influences and Ritualized Performance in Modernist Music Theater$
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W. Anthony Sheppard

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520223028

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520223028.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Freedom in a Tunic Versus Frieze-Dried Classicism: Hellenism in Modernist Performance

Freedom in a Tunic Versus Frieze-Dried Classicism: Hellenism in Modernist Performance

Chapter:
(p.42) 5 Freedom in a Tunic Versus Frieze-Dried Classicism: Hellenism in Modernist Performance
Source:
Revealing Masks
Author(s):

W. Anthony Sheppard

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520223028.003.0005

This chapter compares the Hellenism of Isadora Duncan with the Greek-style works of Igor Stravinsky and Carl Orff, focusing particularly on the issue of movement versus stasis. Numerous photographs of Duncan in Greek costume, dancing and posing among the ruins of Athens, testify to the exalted state—a new freedom of physical expression—that she experienced during her sojourns there. Her dances from this period, particularly her Bacchanale to the music of Christoph Willibald von Gluck, exhibit an intense delight in traversing space with relatively simple but forceful and athletic movements. Although it is now most often performed as a concert work, Orff's medievalist Carmina Burana was intended as a staged dramatic cantata that would include dance, sets, and costumes. Unlike Stravinsky, and closer to Duncan's interest in ancient Greek ritual performance, Orff was devoted to the total-theater ideal throughout his career.

Keywords:   Hellenism, Isadora Duncan, dance, Igor Stravinsky, Carl Orff, theater, Carmina Burana, Greek ritual

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