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Albion's DanceBritish Ballet during the Second World War$
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Karen Eliot

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199347629

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199347629.001.0001

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Programming the Repertoire

Programming the Repertoire

(p.133) 6 Programming the Repertoire
Albion's Dance

Karen Eliot

Oxford University Press

The repertoire performed during war was generally conservative, consisting mostly of Fokine’s one-act, neo-Romantic ballets. Producers also programmed divertissements and entrées varying in tone, mood, and music. Brief numbers were easily toured and assembled to make up an evening’s entertainment; programming divertissements allowed maximum flexibility for cast changes when dancers were injured or male dancers left for military service. Acknowledging their diverse audiences, producers shrewdly varied their repertories for viewers’ differing levels of experience with ballet. They appealed to balletomanes by presenting the standard favorites such as Les Sylphides, Carnaval, Le Spectre de la Rose, and the second acts of Giselle and Le Lac des Cygnes, performed as mainly pure-dance excerpts. Novice audiences were drawn in with the use of non-classical elements. Examples are “Schubertiana,” a cabaret number by Alicija Halama and Czeslaw Konarski, the founders of the Anglo-Polish Ballet, and the “Can-Can” as danced by Pauline Grant’s Ballet Group.

Keywords:   wartime repertoire, divertissements, diverse audiences, Les Sylphides, Schubertiana, Can-Can, Cabaret, Pauline Grant’s Ballet Group

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