Agon: A Trip Into Outer Space (Part 2)

Here we continue with Brook Manning’s exploration of George Balanchine’s Agon, one of five pieces on the program for OBT 25,  playing at the Keller Auditorium through October 18. Part 1 can be found here:  Agon was one of Balanchine’s “leotard ballets” (so called because the dancers performed wearing simple practice clothes), it made headlines… Read More

Agon – A Trip Into Outer Space (Part 1)

Oregon Ballet Theatre begins its 25th anniversary season with an unparalleled program, OBT 25. The opening piece on the program is a watershed collaboration between George Balanchine, one of ballet’s greatest choreographers, and Igor Stravinsky, a musical giant who pushed creative boundaries. The work they created was a genre-shattering ballet titled Agon. OBT’s performance will be… Read More

The Grass is Not Always Greener: The Story of the Prodigal Son

The story of the ballet is taken from the Biblical parable and transplanted to Russian soil. Boris Kochno, Diaghilev’s secretary and librettist, took certain liberties to heighten the themes of sin and forgiveness: two attentive sisters were substituted for the obedient son of the original story; how the Prodigal Son “wasted his substance with riotous living” was brought to the forefront by placing it in the present tense; and the story ends with the Son’s return to a grave patriarch (not the celebratory father in the original). Read More