Looking backwards in order to be able to move forwards in an analysis of Pina Bausch's "Bluebeard" (1977)

Sophia Preston

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    A detailed analysis of the relationships between the music and movement in Pina Bausch’s 1977 work Bluebeard: on listening to a tape recording of Béla Bartók’s opera “Duke Bluebeard’s Castle” reveals many layers of both structure and meaning to the work. Overarching, or possibly underpinning, these layers is another, “mirror” or “arch” structure in which crucial moments of the first half of the dance reappear in the second, in reverse order and often also with reversed gender and/or reversed direction. Thus, as the dance progresses through a narrative, the movement, and also the key structure of the music, travel backwards through the material already seen and heard in the first half.In talking about “meanings” and considering the “work”, as some extant, reified “thing” I am, of course, reverting to an analytical methodology that reverts back through the last twenty years of the development of Dance scholarship, and beyond. My argument, however, is that it is only through a detailed structural analysis of Bluebeard that I have been able to identify more than the immediate surface layer of the emotional journey of the work; it is only by looking backwards in interpretive strategy that I have been able to move forwards in my understanding of the piece.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages108-113
    JournalProceedings of the Society of Dance History Scholars 31st annual conference, Looking backwards, moving forwards Skidmore College, USA June 11-15, 2008
    Volume31
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2008

    Fingerprint

    Layer
    Dance
    Pina Bausch
    Music
    Tape Recording
    Opera
    Structural Analysis
    Arch
    Béla Bartók
    Journey
    Emotion
    Methodology

    Keywords

    • Dance Analysis
    • Pina Bausch
    • "Bluebeard"
    • Mirror Structure

    Cite this

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    title = "Looking backwards in order to be able to move forwards in an analysis of Pina Bausch's {"}Bluebeard{"} (1977)",
    abstract = "A detailed analysis of the relationships between the music and movement in Pina Bausch’s 1977 work Bluebeard: on listening to a tape recording of B{\'e}la Bart{\'o}k’s opera “Duke Bluebeard’s Castle” reveals many layers of both structure and meaning to the work. Overarching, or possibly underpinning, these layers is another, “mirror” or “arch” structure in which crucial moments of the first half of the dance reappear in the second, in reverse order and often also with reversed gender and/or reversed direction. Thus, as the dance progresses through a narrative, the movement, and also the key structure of the music, travel backwards through the material already seen and heard in the first half.In talking about “meanings” and considering the “work”, as some extant, reified “thing” I am, of course, reverting to an analytical methodology that reverts back through the last twenty years of the development of Dance scholarship, and beyond. My argument, however, is that it is only through a detailed structural analysis of Bluebeard that I have been able to identify more than the immediate surface layer of the emotional journey of the work; it is only by looking backwards in interpretive strategy that I have been able to move forwards in my understanding of the piece.",
    keywords = "Dance Analysis, Pina Bausch, {"}Bluebeard{"}, Mirror Structure",
    author = "Sophia Preston",
    note = "Reference text: Acocella, Joan ‘Imagining Dance’ in Dils, A. and Albright, A.C. moving history / dancing cultures Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan UP, 2001 pp 12-16 Antokoletz, Elliott The Music of B{\'e}la Bart{\'o}k California and London: University of California Press, 1984 ___________ ‘Bart{\'o}k’s Bluebeard: The sources of its ‘Modernism’’ College Music Symposium 30, no.1 (Spring 1990) pp75-95 Bart{\'o}k, B{\'e}la Bluebeard’s Castle Vocal Score, Mineola, New York: Dover 2001 (Reprint of Original edition, Piano reduction by the composer, 1921) Bausch, Pina On listening to a tape recording of B{\'e}la Bart{\'o}k’s opera “Duke Bluebeard’s Castle” Dance on Four transmission of film of Wuppertal Tanztheater’s 1985 performance, Jolyon Wimhurst and Pina Bausch (editors) Bettelheim, Bruno The uses of enchantment London: Thames and Hudson, 1975 Barthes, Roland Image, Music, Text (trans. Stephen Heath) London: Fontana, 1977 Chalmers, Kenneth B{\'e}la Bart{\'o}k London: Phaidon, 1995 Dickinson, Peter ‘Professor Wilfrid Mellers: Musicologist and composer’ The Independent Obituaries Mon May 19th 2008 Garner, Alan Alan Garner’s book of British fairy tales London: William Collins, 1984 Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm Children’s and Household Tales (first published 1812) translated Brian Alderson 1978, London: Gollancz 990 Griffiths, Paul B{\'e}la Bart{\'o}k (Master Musicians Series) London: Dent, 1984 Iser, Wolfgang The Implied Reader Baltimore and London, Johns Hopkins UP, 1974 Leafstedt, Carl S. Inside Bluebeard’s Castle: Music and Drama in B{\'e}la Bart{\'o}k’s opera New York, Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999 Lendvai, Ern{\"o} B{\'e}la Bart{\'o}k An Analysis of his Music London: Kahn & Averill, 1971, 1979, 2000 Opie, Iona and Peter The Classic Fairy Tales London: OUP 1974 Perrault, Charles Histoires ou contes du temps pass{\'e} Paris: Claude Burbin, 1697 Scheier, Helmut ‘The woman from Wuppertal’ Dance and Dancers Sep 1982 pp14-15 Schmidt, Joachim ‘From Swan Lake to the Weed Garden’ in Linke, M (ed) Theatre 1967-1982 Berlin: I.T.I., 1983 pp79-90 Siegel, Marcia B. ‘Visible Secrets: Style Analysis and Dance Literacy’ in Morris, G. (ed) Moving Words London and New York: Routledge, 1996 pp29-42 Stevens, Halsey The Life and Music of B{\'e}la Bart{\'o}k Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1953, 1964, 1993 Veress, S{\'a}ndor “Bluebeard’s Castle” Tempo 13, 1949 pp32-38 Warner, Marina Six myths of our time New York: Vintage, 1995 Zipes, Jack (ed) The great fairy tale tradition: from Straparola and Basile to the Brothers Grimm New York and London: Norton, 2001",
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    Looking backwards in order to be able to move forwards in an analysis of Pina Bausch's "Bluebeard" (1977). / Preston, Sophia.

    Vol. 31, 13.06.2008, p. 108-113.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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