Strings and wind instruments dominate the work, for the most part strident, sweeping or shrill, with occasional percussive passages. While still maintaining an undercurrent of doom, the music softens when Jocasta recalls Oedipus as her lover.
Each of the three central characters dance with a distinctive set of movements. Costumed in a mask with covered eyes and a weighted cloak, the Seer moves with an air of power and purpose.
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He carries a heavy wooden staff that he strikes noisily on the stage and bed, emphasizing the seriousness of his message. Tiresias "sees most and least, takes up huge amounts of space when moving or standing still, yet never becomes personally engaged in the tragedy. Holding his torso rigid, Oedipus struts and stamps, in a display of strength, the phallic thrusting of various limbs a gesture of his masculinity. At moments he lunges atop Jocasta. With a flexed foot, he pins her to the bed and throws a leg across her chest.
Jocasta's dancing is the least self-assured.
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She darts and wanders indecisively, frequently slumping to the ground by means of back bends and back hinges. In her autobiography Blood Memory , the choreographer provides insight into a specific recurring gesture in the work. I call this the vaginal cry It is either the cry for her lover, her husband, or the cry for her children. The chorus is an extension of Jocasta, "the memories of things we dread to remember, things we wish to forget - the terrors.
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In addition to the choreography's psychosexual symbolism, a motif of seeing and not seeing runs through the dance. The Seer's eyes are covered. The chorus members hold cupped hands in front of their faces in an effort to avoid watching the unfolding tragedy. Oedipus wraps his head in his cloak, suggesting his inability to see Jocasta's true identity, and at the ballet's climax, blinds himself with the clasp from her cloak.
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The New York Herald Tribune noted, "Miss Graham has created a fine and stirring work…and her own performance as Jocasta is generally a brilliant one So expressive in their violence, so provocative in their implication, so moving in their emotional content are these expressions of Jocasta's realization Schuman's score was also very well received. Critic Walter Terry wrote its patterns provided exactly what Graham's "dance style needs most-abrupt, harsh rhythms, staccato phrases that are brief and insistent, long-held steely notes against which she seems to lean and swell.
Several reviewers made mention of Noguchi's set, which was far more elaborate that those he had made previously for Graham. One wrote, "Each set per se seems right, each one becomes more beautiful than its predecessor The New York Herald Tribune' s critic "particularly like the glittering yet distorted bed which focused upon and symbolized the nature of the evil tragedy which best Jocasta and Oedipus. The making of Night Journey meshed with Graham's personal life.
Dancing the role of Jocasta, and other characters she created from through , became a way for her to channel the emotions of her difficult domestic relationship with Hawkins. Siegel wrote, "What Graham constructed for herself over the ruins of Hawkins idyll, re-imagined through dreams, myth, and an assiduously cultivated unconscious, was a series of central roles in a series of remarkable dances.
The vengeful Jocasta wasn't the first but it was probably the most striking.
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The work also reflects Graham's interest in Freudian and Jungian analysis. Both she and Hawkins met with Jungian psychotherapists in and Night Journey has been a staple of the troupe's repertory since its premiere and is one of the few dances Graham permitted to be filmed.
source site Pearl Lang took over the Jocasta role from Graham. In , Rudolf Nureyev appeared as Oedipus. With the rest of the company repertoire, the work was not performed during the protracted Graham vs. Graham lawsuit, which raged from to Night Journey was filmed for educational television by director Alexander Hammid as part of a three episode series. After the short was televised in , Kroll asked permission to film two of her most famous ballets, Appalachian Spring and Night Journey. They were aired in and , respectively.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Performing Arts Encyclopedia, Library of Congress. Retrieved 6 February Dance Observer. June The video projections shape her world. Blue Journey's audition in Episode consisted of dancing to Radiohead's "Street Spirit" as projections of shadows were displayed on the screen behind the pair. Blue Journey's Week 3 Quarterfinals performance in Episode consisted of dancing in front of a screen on a wall to portray effects such as a shadow leaving a dancer's body. The dancers then moved to the floor, where another screen portrayed images such as hopping onto floating rocks, being blown away by a larger person, climbing stairs made up of human hand shadows, and climbing a large hand.
Blue Journey's Week 2 Semifinals performance in Episode consisted of dancing in front of a screen on a wall to portray effects such as dancing in a bedroom, a shadow leaving a dancer's body and entering the painting, and two dancers dancing from within an ocean-based painting. The large hand then seemed to be controlling both dancers. The duo danced to "I Put a Spell on You. Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki.
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