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Agnes de MilleTelling Stories in Broadway Dance$
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Kara Anne Gardner

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199733682

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199733682.001.0001

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Bringing Ballet to Broadway

Bringing Ballet to Broadway

(p.1) 1 Bringing Ballet to Broadway
Agnes de Mille

Kara Anne Gardner

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes de Mille’s path to Broadway. After de Mille graduated from UCLA, she began a career as a choreographer, producing solo pieces with an emphasis on the stories of individual characters. Her earliest attempt to stage dances in a Broadway musical (Flying Colors) ended with her being replaced by Albertina Rasch. After that disappointment, she moved to London and created a number of seminal works while studying with Marie Rambert. In 1933, she collaborated with Cole Porter on the musical Nymph Errant. When she returned to the United States, she was primed for success. The premiere of her ballet Rodeo in New York (1942) met with an enthusiastic reception and led Rodgers, Hammerstein, and the Theater Guild to hire her as choreographer for Oklahoma! The chapter also discusses the Broadway ballets of Albertina Rasch and George Balanchine, which served as important precursors for de Mille’s groundbreaking work in musical theater.

Keywords:   Flying Colors, Marie Rambert, Cole Porter, Nymph Errant, Rodeo, Aaron Copland, Albertina Rasch, George Balanchine

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