Raymonda – 4th Day of Urban Dionysia

The Διονύσια τὰ ἀστικά ‘Urban Dionysia’, are the last Dionysian celebrations of the Hellenic lunar calendar. They close the yearly events in boreal spring – austral fall – with other rituals, dances and performances. Each day of Dionysia, I introduce in a few words, a piece of performance art from anyone in the world, at any moment of history, and that I want to share. This includes: theatre, opera, dance, body art, music video and cinema.

The genre of the fourth work is not something I’m really used to. But I believe it has its own right to represent performing arts in a Dionysian celebration. And the main reason for this is because it deals with dancing. Not that ballet could be considered any close to Dionysian trance dancing, but at least it brings the human body to the very centre of art. Today’s work is Rudolf Nureyev’s adaptation of  【Raymonda】 on Alexander Glazunov’s music. What is fascinating with ballet, is that it’s always the composition of two artists: the one who created the sound and the one who created the body. To some extent, I’m feeling that this second work, when the ballet choreographer brings the music to life by adding movement to the play, has the main power on life, since it is the human flesh which is moved by the director, like puppets pulled by strings. Alexander Glazunov brings the ideal material, but Rudolf Nureyev owns the humans who incarnate the ideas. And maybe, the Russian artist who came to Paris to produce and offer this very progressive artwork, finally owned the ones who admired it. Us among them, even after the choreographer’s death, as the following example shows.

Here is the 【list of previous posts】 for the Urban Dionysia.

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