Ballade for clarinetist dancer - Video

Do you remember of the announce of the Dancers' Dozen show? Here is the video of Ballade:

Ballade is one of the "12 Études for Clarinetist Dancer." As written in my original plan, the piece includes several references:

  • First, the form of the piece is modeled after the classical verse form ballade. It is therefore made of 3 eight-line stanzas and a final envoi.
  • The opening clarinet phrase could be heard (and analyzed) as a variation on the solo overtures of Debussy’s “Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune”, and Stravinsky’s “Le Sacre du Printemps.”
  • Similarly to the music, the choreography makes use of three sources of inspiration. During the first part ("stanza"), the dance builds upon movements from Nijinsky’s Prélude à l’après- midi d’un faune.
  • In the second part, music and movement become more earthy. The dance is developed mainly after a cell from Nijinsky’s Rite of Spring.
  • In the third part, I use gestures referencing François Villon’s Ballade des Pendus. I chose eight lines from the third stanza:

La pluie nous a lessivés et lavés
Et le soleil nous a séchés et noircis;
Pies, corbeaux nous ont creusé les yeux,
Et arraché la barbe et les sourcils.
Jamais un seul instant nous ne sommes assis;
De ci de là, selon que le vent tourne,
Il ne cesse de nous ballotter à son gré,
Plus becquétés d'oiseaux que dés à coudre.
Ne soyez donc de notre confrérie,
Mais priez Dieu que tous nous veuille absouldre!

Read here an English translation and here the original version in Old French.

Manuscript

Here are the three pages of the score (including music and dance), on which I have worked since the beginning of the project. You can read several layers of comments and modifications reflecting the evolution of the work through time.

The most drastic modifications, made during the last few days before the premiere, are not written, though. I say drastic, because I reshaped the end of the work (thanks to the teachers Elizabeth Bergmann and Joshua Legg for the piece of advice...) These final changes are only memorized in my body and mind... and now on video.

Page 1, "Le Faune"Page 2, "Le Sacre"Page 3, "Ballade des Pendus"
score ballade clarinetist dancerscore ballade clarinetist dancerscore ballade clarinetist dancer

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