Balanchine: Dance in America - Chaconne/Prodigal Son

Balanchine: Dance in America - Chaconne/Prodigal Son

Director:  Cast: New York City Ballet


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Chaconne was originally staged by Balanchine for a production of Gluck's Orfeo et Eurydice. Altered somewhat in form for subsequent stagings and for this filming, the ballet is an abstract celebration of the joys of love. Balanchine opens this version with a "Heavenly Duet" for Peter Martins and Suzanne Farrell, before adding an ensemble dance for twelve girls with long flowing hair, followed by a pas de deux, several solo moments and a grand promenade for the entire cast. Prodigal Son has a stronger narrative, retelling the familiar Biblical story, although it leaves out the portion of the story dealing with the obedient son. As the ballet opens, two servants are gathering items for their young master's Mikhail Baryshnikov journey from home. His sisters bid him farewell, hoping to dissuade him, but the young man feels he must travel and experience life for himself. His father disapproves, but he tells the son that he will always be welcome in the family. Accompanied by his servants, the son leaves and soon encounters a pack of bald men, who befriend him but are actually interested only in his wealth. They introduce him to an exotic Siren (Karin Von Aroldingen), who seduces him. She, the servants and the other men rob him of all his wealth, strip him and leave him. While they celebrate their ill-gotten gains, the impoverished young man crawls home, sick and in despair. His sisters find him and tend to him, and when his father appears, he is welcomed back home with open arms and crawls into his father's loving embrace.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/30/1995
UPC: 0085364017932
Original Release: 1978
Rating: NR
Source: Elektra / Wea

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