Svetlana V. LAVROVA
Vaganova Ballet Academy
2 Str. Zodchego Rossi, Saint Petersburg, 191023, Russian Federation
Vice-Rector for Research and Development
Doctor of Science (Art History)
ORCID: 0000-0002-0887-8075Conductor’s Gesture as the Basis of the Choreographic Thesaurus of the Sacred Spring by Xavier LeroyAbstract:
The article is devoted to the works of the conceptual choreographer Xavier Leroy. The focus of the study is the production of the ballet The Rite of Spring, in which the choreographer, who is also a dancer, creates choreography based on the conductor’s gestures addressed to the virtual orchestra, which is given in the recording of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Ruttle, who inspired Leroy to create this performance. Analyzing the specifics of the conductor’s gesture in close connection with the ideas of music of the 20th century, and in particular new music, the conclusion from the study is the fundamental identity of the energy of the performing gesture of a musician (conductor) and an artist in a dance performance. Obviously, thanks to the existence and spread of polar conceptual trajectories that go far beyond the traditional interpretation of the early twentieth century, The Rite of Spring remains a deeply modern ballet: as a generative and self-developing discourse around the emerging new foundations of choreographic practice. The ballet score offers a starting point for all subsequent updated interpretations: its basis is the composer’s revolutionary and ultra-modern music, which in itself feeds the choreographer’s creative imagination, and a wide layer of already existing choreographic versions becomes an additional stimulus. It is in the context indicated above that Leroy’s choreography represents a critical reappraisal not only of the music of The Rite of Spring, but also of the history of interpretation, expanding this creative space through a series of new creative gestures within the framework of the conceptual practices of contemporary dance. In this original ballet-conductor’s interpretation, the representation of the dancer’s/conductor’s body has the character of musical plasticity, structured by the conductor’s gestures woven into the musical context. The dancer’s body becomes a fantastic creature that has the power of hypnotic influence on the audience, which understands that in this case it is he and his body, generating conductor’s gestures, that gives rise to music that seems to exist on its own. The conclusion of the study is the assertion that Leroy’s conductor’s gesture as a performative space opens up a discourse around what exactly a conductor’s gesture is and whether we can present it in a choreographic context. To the extent that the conductor’s gesture is a communicative tool between the physical and mental worlds, the choreography provides the same functions, and therefore such an interpretation of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring is possible.Key words:
conductor’s gesture, choreographic interpretations of The Rite of Spring, Xavier Leroy, modern dance, performance.References:
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Lavrova, S. Conductor’s Gesture as the Basis of the Choreographic Thesaurus of the Sacred Spring by Xavier Leroy. International Journal of Cultural Research, 3 (48). 89–99. DOI: 10.52173/2079-1100_2022_3_89