Idol

The pas de deux in this video is called “The Eternal Idol”. It was choreographed by the late American choreographer, dancer and director of his own in company in San Francisco, Michael Smuin. The piece was inspired by a famous Rodin sculpture, and the music is the larghetto for piano, Concerto No2 by Chopin.

This is a lovely duet, which brings to life Rodin’s famous sculpture, “the Eternal Idol” in a most gentle and poetic way. This dance gives us a glimpse into an eternal Romance between two people in love forever. A love that is portrayed through the choreography as very intimate, gentle and sensual. I also enjoy the playfulness and apparent naivety of the characters in the simplicity of the choreography which adds a quaint beauty and charm.

Smuin had been a dancer with ABT and had danced; choreographed and directed in all kinds of dance and theatre, including film and TV so his was well versed in contemporary dance styles that he brought into his choreography.

In comparing this piece to contemporary ballet of today, it is interesting to see how quickly balletic expression has evolved as contemporary dance styles have been intergrated in to its vocabulary. When I first saw this duet, I was struck how simple and naive it seemed, and yet it was considered very contemporary for ballet in it’s time which wasn’t that long ago!

Time has gone by since this piece was choreographed, how would you describe this piece as being ballet or contemporary ballet?

 
 

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