George Balanchine's Apollo Musagete Analysis

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In 1960, a telecast was recorded featuring George Balanchine’s Apollo Musagete. It was premiered on a DVD later released with the name New York City Ballet in Montreal, Vol. 5. This version of Apollo was choreographed by George Balanchine. The score for Apollo was done by Igor Stravinsky. The performance was done by Jacques d’Amboise, Melissa Hayden, Jillana, and Patricia Neary (New York City Ballet). This recording of Apollo emphasized George Balanchine’s aesthetic of ballet. In the early 1900’s Balanchine started to develop his own ideals of ballet, which in turn started to shape a new era, which later became known as neoclassical ballet. This neoclassical form strayed by not adhering to the strict norms of classical ballet. Movements …show more content…
The idea behind the costumes was to draw focus to the dancer’s gestures rather than having the audience focus on the clothes and draw a story from them. As George Balanchine states in the video, “The costumes were not made well, but it is the gestures that are important” (New York City Ballet). The costumes were made up enough to convey the era in which the ballet took place. There was no need for the costumes to explain which role the dancers played, because their gestures and movements conveyed the entire story. In a classical ballet, the costumes are more elaborate and add layers to the story, that in an interpretation of Balanchine’s opinion, are not necessarily needed. The classical ballet costumes would tell the audience where a dancer stood in a social structure. The costumes pointed out which dancer’s would be the main attraction overall, and which characters had less important roles. The story in a classical ballet is driven through movement, costumes, and set design. Where in Balanchine’s case, especially in Apollo, the story is driven through gestures. On top of the minimalistic costume design, the set design was minimal as well. In this production of Apollo, the stage was completely clear except for a black box downstage left, where the male dancer would sit about halfway through the dance, and a staircase at the center of upstage with a small platform at the top. In comparison to a classical ballet stage, this production of Apollo had next to nothing. In the case of a classical ballet would take place inside of a castle, almost every detail of said castle would be put onto stage. The walls would be added in giving a stone structured feeling, furniture would be added in, lighting fixtures, and everything down to plants that are used for decoration. Balanchine wanted the focus on the

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