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Peepshow - One in Five - Danse Brilliante - (Unknown) [1975]

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Video Identifier: V.2011-05-0481
Run Time
0h 45m 48s
Date Produced
"Peepshow" is a ballet choreographed by Walter Gore, to Jean Francaix's Concerto pour piano et orchestre. It was premiered on October 5, 1952, by the Ballet Workshop in London; sets and costumes were designed by Walter Gore and Paula Hinton. 

"One in Five" is a ballet, about four male clowns and a female clown, choreographed by British ballet master Ray Powell in 1960 to music by Johann and Joseph Strauss. It was premiered in 1962 by the Australian Ballet. 

"Danse Brilliante" is a trio ballet choreographed by Frederic Franklin to music by Mikhail Glinka, originally from the opera Ruslan and Ludmilla (1842). It was danced by the National Ballet in 1967. 

This video appears to be a compilation of rehearsals of these pieces, as well as a fourth unknown trio ballet set to experimental music. All are rehearsed by members of the Chicago Ballet, and all seem to have been recorded circa 1975.
The video begins with a shot of a ballet studio, where three dancers (one female and two male) in practice clothes stand and begin a dance. This dance includes a number of non-classical steps and movements, including flexed feet and angular arms. The trio travels little, occasionally crouching to the ground or changing formation. Their lighthearted and silly dance eventually concludes with all three lying on the ground. 

The video then cuts to static and black before cutting to a shot of a larger rehearsal space--apparently a stage. After an extended musical introduction, a man climbs down a tall ladder in the upstage left corner. He makes his way toward center stage, pretends to count audience members, and launches into a lighthearted solo. Before long, a second man jumps out of a large chest to join him in the dance; a female dancer then enters stage and joins as well. After the three complete their dance, a fourth (male) dancer enters stage and dances a rather more sad solo before shaking hands with each of the other three. The four then join hands and begin a group dance, during which they spot a fifth dancer just offstage and pull him on to join them. The first four scatter as the fifth dances his own brief solo but he soon beckons them to rejoin and playfully knocks many of the others over; only the female dancer outsmarts him and knocks him over first. She follows up with a brief solo, after which the four men gather around her and bow, removing their imaginary hats.

The female dancer remains at center before running to the back as the four males dance around her and to her; next, she dances a solo at center as they surround her encouragingly. The roles are then reversed again as the four men follow up with another dance of their own. This pattern continues for awhile, with the female dancer rejoining and reorganizing the male dancers in a variety of ways. After partnering with one in particular for several phrases, she brings the whole group back together for more silly dancing. Eventually, the group dances a lively finale which ends with a precarious group pose. 

The video then cuts to static before returning to a different rehearsal on the same stage. A trio of three dancers (two female and one male dancer). The group begins with an ensemble dance, after which the female dancers exit and the male dancer begins a solo. This is followed by a pas de deux with one of the female dancers, which transitions seamlessly into a second pas de deux with the other female dancer. Afterwards, the couple exits and presents the first female dancer for her solo, only to be followed once again by the other two dancing a pas de deux. Then there are reprises by both the female soloist and the couple, after which all three take turns with solos of different lengths.

Next, the two female dancers begin a segment together. They then take turns performing turn-heavy solos, after which the male dancer follows with a jump-heavy solo of his own. To begin the finale the two female dancers enter, followed by the male dancer, and the three dance as an ensemble. After each performs a series of quick turns, the male dancer catches each female dancer in a leap and all three bow together to end the piece.

The video cuts once again to static before cutting to a somewhat blurry shot of a dance studio where three dancers (two male, one female) walk 'onstage' one at a time as experimental electronic music begins to play. The three do a great deal of bending and intertwining and the male dancers frequently lift, drag, swing, and flip the female dancer between them. Before too long, however, the video briefly cuts to static again and the piece starts over from the initial entrances. This time, the dancers complete the brief choreography and return for a set of three bows as an unseen studio audience behind the camera applauds. As they walk toward the camera for notes, the video ends. 
Additional Credit
Francaix, Jean (is composer)
Franklin, Frederic (is choreographer)
Glinka, Mikhail (is composer)
Gore, Walter (is choreographer)
Powell, Ray (is choreographer)
Strauss, Johann (is composer)
Strauss, Joseph (is composer)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Djerknes, Michael (is performer)
Poole, Dennis (is performer)
Mitchell, Pamela (is performer)
Mathe, Carmen (is performer)
Gehm, Charlene (is performer)
Lees, Michelle (is performer)
Longley, Suzanne (is performer)
Grohgan, Deirdre (is performer)