The Choreographic Art: An Outline of Its Principles and Craft

The Choreographic Art: An Outline of Its Principles and Craft

The Choreographic Art: An Outline of Its Principles and Craft

The Choreographic Art: An Outline of Its Principles and Craft

Excerpt

Fifty years ago, the word choreography would have evoked small response; but during that period a public for Ballet has grown up, and an examination of Ballet's components is no longer confined in its interest to members of the profession.

The present volume therefore appears at an appropriate moment. It is the product of a collaboration extending over some six years and is concerned with the choreographic art. It is not a practical manual on how to compose ballets and dances, but a detailed examination of the manifold problems that confront the choreographer. It is a pioneer work on a very difficult subject; and it is apposite to consider first the qualifications of the two authors.

Peggy van Praagh has an honoured place in the history of British Ballet: a pupil of Margaret Craske, in 1938 she was a principal dancer in Tudor's London Ballet, and in 1941 joined the Sadler's Wells Ballet as solo dancer. When the Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet was formed in 1946, Miss van Praagh was appointed its ballet mistress, and from 1952 to 1955, under Dame Ninette de Valois, was its assistant director. She has worked under many choreographers, created a number of roles in Tudor's repertory, and has staged ballets in Canada, Munich and Copenhagen. She is now artistic director of The Australian Ballet.

Peter Brinson is a product of Oxford University, where he took First Class Honours in Modern Greats after the war and started to earn his living as a writer. He was Director of Research, Film Centre, from 1948 to 1953. Having long had an interest in Ballet, in 1955 he founded at Oxford the first university extension courses dealing with its history and with the principles of Choreography, and five years later was invited to undertake similar work for Cambridge University. He has contributed articles on Ballet to leading periodicals and was for a time deputy ballet critic to the Sunday Times and ballet critic to The Queen. In 1960 he was awarded a Research Fellowship by the Council of Europe to study and report upon the European Archives of Classical Ballet. This enabled him to examine, often with his co-author, the theatre collections in ten . . .

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