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Polo  

Article

Christopher Balme

The dances and music of the Polynesian peoples have had varying impact on the United States over the last one and half centuries. Of greatest importance are Hawaiian music and dance, including musical instruments such as the Pedal steel guitar and Ukulele, and practices such as the Hula (see Hawaii). Owing to US colonial involvement in the region, exchange and influences transcend just the Hawaiian connection. For the 1909 production Inside the Earth at the New York Hippodrome 50 Maori performers were imported from New Zealand for the season. To promote her 1926 silent film, Aloma of the South Seas, the dancer Gilda Gray toured with a Polynesian band, The Royal Samoans, and performed her “Polynesian dance” before showings. The Royal Samoans capitalized on the craze for Hawaiian and Tahitian music and dancing. They performed throughout the United States in the interwar period, even obtaining a live cameo in the ...

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Poster  

(Fr. affiche; Ger. Plakat; It. manifesto, cartello, cartellone)

A placard or ‘great bill’, normally printed in eye-catching style, to be displayed in prominent positions for the purpose of announcing details of a forthcoming event and attracting the public. The word originates from the custom of attaching bills to the posts that marked the area for pedestrians in London streets before the Great Fire. ...

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Edgardo Diaz Díaz

Primarily a legacy of Spanish traditions since the early colonial days, the seis comprise various dance and music styles emerging from Puerto Rico’s ostensibly rural areas. Name designations for these genres allude to dance forms (as in seis amarrao and seis del pañuelo); to any specific animal behavior (seis del juey); to the name of musicians or composers (as in the celebrate seis de Andino); and, more often, to the region or town where they emerge, as are the cases of seis bayamonés, seis fajardeño, or seis de bieke. Of special significance is the seis con décimas, drawing on an Arab-Andalusian-based melodic mold whereby troubadours display their individual ability to develop melodies and improvise on old poetic forms like the ten-line décima, or the four-line quatrain. Traditionally, a ten-stringed cuatro provides the singer with counter-melismatic phrases, as simple chord progressions by the guitar provide for an often elaborate bass support assisted by stable rhythms of a g...

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Soleá  

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Manfred Boetzkes, Evan Baker and Nicholas John

[scene design; scenography] (Fr. décor; Ger. Bühnenbild; It. scenografia)

Stage design represents the sum of the visual elements of theatrical production combining all forms of scenery, lighting, makeup and costumes (and sometimes the actual space in which the production is presented) to create an illusion of a place, space and time. Stage design is an ephemeral theatrical art, capable of realizing its full potential only in the context of a performance. Not only is stage design governed, to a certain extent, by the requirements of both the libretto and the music, but also by the political, economic and social demands of current modes of tastes of the society in which opera is performed. This was particularly true during the era of the French grand opéra.

For the purposes of this article, the discussion of stage design will be limited to the more commonly accepted concept of ‘scene design’; that is, the scenic elements of operatic production in which the visual attention of the public is focussed on to a predetermined acting space (or area) during the performance. For other information falling within the broader concept of stage design, ...

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Peter Kemp

Austrian family of dance music composers and musicians of Hungarian origin. Through a combination of melodic invention and masterly orchestral technique, allied to an astute sense of the commercial, they elevated 19th-century popular music, and especially the Viennese Waltz, to a consummate form.

Johann Strauss (b Vienna, March 14, 1804; d Vienna, Sept 25, 1849)

Johann Strauss (b Vienna, Oct 25, 1825; d Vienna, June 3, 1899)

Josef Strauss (b Vienna, Aug 20, 1827; d Vienna, July 22, 1870)

Eduard Strauss (b Vienna, March 15, 1835; d Vienna, Dec 28, 1916)

Johann Strauss (iii) (b Vienna, Feb 16, 1866; d Berlin-Schöneberg, Jan 9, 1939)

Eduard Strauss (b Vienna, March 24, 1910; d Vienna, April 6, 1969)

A Periodicals and journals. B Catalogues and bibliographies. C Lives and works: general studies. D Lives and works: particular aspects. E Stage works of Johann Strauss II....

Article

Stephen Walsh

(Fyodorovich)

(b Oranienbaum [now Lomonosov], nr St Petersburg, 5/June 17, 1882; d New York, April 6, 1971). Russian composer, later of French (1934) and American (1945) nationality. One of the most widely performed and influential composers of the 20th century, he remains also one of its most multi-faceted. A study of his work automatically touches on almost every important tendency in the century's music, from the neo-nationalism of the early ballets, through the more abrasive, experimental nationalism of the World War I years, the neo-classicism of the period 1920–51 and the studies of old music which underlay the proto-serial works of the 1950s, to the highly personal interpretation of serial method in his final decade. To some extent the mobile geography of his life is reflected in his work, with its complex patterns of influence and allusion. In another sense, however, he never lost contact with his Russian origins and, even after he ceased to compose with recognizably Russian materials or in a perceptibly Slavonic idiom, his music maintained an unbroken continuity of technique and thought....

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Taranta  

Article

Edward A. Langhans

Edward A. Langhans

Although theatres for the performance of revived classical plays (chiefly comedies of Terence) and song-and-dance intermezzi were set up in academies and court banquet halls in the late 15th century, these were of an occasional nature. The earliest permanent theatre may have been one in Ferrara, Italy, which supposedly burnt down in 1532. The Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, the oldest permanent Renaissance theatre still standing, opened on 3 March 1585 with a production of Sophocles’ Oedipus tyrannus, translated into Italian, with choral and incidental music by Andrea Gabrieli. The original architect, Andrea Palladio, designed the Olimpico as a scaled-down and indoor Roman theatre, with an elliptical seating area of 13 tiers of bench-like structures and a wide, narrow stage with five entrances in an elaborate scenic façade. The theatre was completed by Vincenzo Scamozzi, who added permanent built-perspective vistas behind the doors. The theatre was not originally planned as an opera house, though only works of an operatic nature can hold their own there against the spectacular façade and perspectives. By the time the theatre opened, however, changeable scenery had been developed, and theatres equipped for such changes were better suited to musical theatre works....

Article

Ticket  

Richard Macnutt

(Fr. billet; Ger. Billet, Eintrittskarte; It. biglietto, bolletino, tessera

A pass giving admission to a theatre or hall; stamped or engraved on metal (sometimes silver, regularly copper, bronze, brass, lead or tin), engraved on ivory or bone, or printed on thin card or paper. Research into this topic is still at a preliminary stage.

It is known that the first public opera house, the Teatro S Cassiano in Venice, had from 1637 both a subscription system and admission by single ticket, but no example of a ticket appears to survive. In London, the earliest known theatre tickets were circular metal ‘checks’. Bronze or brass checks are extant from two theatres on Bankside, the Bear Garden (in use c1585–1682) and Swan (c1595– c1632), and the Red Bull at Clerkenwell (c1605–63); none is dated, but the Red Bull checks state the parts of the theatre to which they give admittance. A silver check dated ...

Article

Ian Mikyska

(b Boskovice, 19 Jan 1984).Czech composer and performer (voice, accordion, and tap dance). She studied the accordion (2004–10) and composition (2007–8) at the Brno Conservatory, and composition at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (with martin smolka and Peter Graham[1]). She also studied as an exchange student at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the California Institute of the Arts (with michael pisaro), the Universität der Künste Berlin (with Marc Sabat), and Columbia University (with george e. lewis).

While she often works with elements outside of music, there is almost always an intense engagement with direct listening, often arrived at through intense focus on very limited material. Sources for her work include Morse code, maps of garments which she turns into scores (Shirt for Harp, Oboe, and Accordion; Jacket for Ensemble), field recordings which she notates descriptively and then asks musicians to interpret the notation (...

Article

Michael Tilmouth

Article

Sally Sanford

A form of foot percussion involving rapid stamping and tapping of the heels and toes (shod in a flamenco shoe) in a rhythmic fashion associated with flamenco. The feet are relaxed and most of the work is done by the lower leg, which initiates the movement with a backswing of the foot by bending the knee almost 90° off the floor before dropping the foot down adjacent to the instep of the standing foot. Digs and stamps allow the dancer forward and lateral movement. Digs are executed with a backswing of the foot landing on the ball of the foot slightly behind the standing foot. The stamp (golpe) also begins with a backswing, landing with forward movement as the heel strikes the floor. Modern flamenco shoes (zapatos for women and botas for men) have thick soles and small tacks on both the toe and heel. The heel of the shoe is elevated. Female dancers face the added challenge of executing rapid footwork while wearing a heavy dress with a long train (...