On Their Toes

January 31, 2002

 

 

Gustav Holst's The Planets inspired ballet choreographer Antony Tudor to write Planets in 1934. Nearly seventy years later, the Duke Dance program has received a $10,000 grant from the National College Choreography Initiative, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, to reconstruct two sections of Tudor's ballet.

Tudor is considered one of the most important ballet choreographers of the twentieth century. Along with NCCI, the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust and the university's own Institute of the Arts are supporting the project at Duke. This is the first award year for NCCI, which selects one college per state for funding. Duke is the inaugural North Carolina grantee.

Planets, set to Holst's music, had its premiere in 1934; Tudor restaged the work in 1939 with an additional movement, but that was the last time it was performed. "We view this project as being of potential national and international importance to the ballet field," says Barbara Dickinson, director of the Duke Dance program. "We hope, through this reconstruction, to be able to reintroduce this choreography to the active repertory of professional ballet companies. The preservation of the work of Antony Tudor is critical to understanding and apprehending twentieth-century ballet."

Duke's dance program is presenting a series of events around the reconstructed movements of Planets. A "Ballet ChoreoLab Concert" will be performed on March 28 and 31; a March 30 symposium on Tudor will include artists who have staged and performed Tudor works.

For information on the Ballet Choreolab performances or the symposium, contact the Duke Box Office at http://auxweb.duke.edu/boxoffice/ or (919) 684-4444.