Le Confident

Ideas tête-à-tête

Afternoon of a Faun

I already told you I like ballets, and especially russian ones. For me, the symbol of the russian ballet is the dancer and choregrapher Vaslav Nijinsky born in Kiev in1887. He was the incarnation of what dance should be : expressive grace. Each movement is an ode to the human body. Body is an instrument which expresses all what a human being can feel : pain, joy, love, sorrow.

Nijinsky after the photo of Adolf Gayne de Meyer

Why do I so love the theme of “loosing gravity” is also because I love danse. The body is no more a weight but like a flying soul that exults throughout music. 

I particularly appreciate the choregraphy made in 1912 for “Prélude à l’après-midi d’un Faune” of Debussy composed in 1892-94, composed after the poem of Stéphane Mallarmé : http://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/L%27Apr%C3%A8s-midi_d%27un_faune.

This choregraphy, expressionist, measures each gesture with precision and signification. The Faun wakes up from a dream where he saw nymphs. Nymphs come in the reality. Is it still a dream ? The Faun goes to see them. They are scared but one of them remains. A seduction begins and she seems to fall in love but she takes advantage of the joy of the Faun to run away from him, leaving falling a piece of clothing. The Faun takes and carry it like if it was the nymph, his only and last souvenir. He brings it where he was sleeping and sleeps again on this clothing, dreaming !

This choregraphy was first a scandal because of some gestures that was thought as too much erotic, especially the final. This choregraphy was for example defended by Rodin but Gaston Calmette wrote in the Figaro : “We have had a faun, incontinent, with vile movements of erotic bestiality and gestures of heavy shamelessness.”

Nureyev has made a wonderful interpretation of this ballet http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ncz-D1Vf13M.


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This entry was posted on June 10, 2012 by in Confidential, Music.
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