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The Choreomusical Page-to-Stage Approach: Visual Representations of Musical Modernism Through the Works of Igor Stravinsky and George Balanchine

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posted on 2021-11-22, 15:51 authored by Hughes, Eustacia Lynn Jocea

The musical developments of the Modernist period provided a new understanding and approach to composition. These developments are also seen in ballet, branching into several styles, with many choreographers providing their unique take to staging musical works. In this study, the modernist choreomusical relationship is examined with respect to the possibility of a page-to-stage approach in dance. This thesis examines how this approach is manifested in the complex relationships between the composer, and the choreographer. Drawing on nine examples of modernist era ballets categorised in to three styles (classical, neoclassical, and contemporary ballets), discussion of historical context, analysis of the musical and choreographic relationship, and other ideas surrounding adapting music for a visual medium are explored.  This thesis also examines changing attitudes to music/dance relationships. Two lines of enquiry are followed, the first assesses, through the example of Stravinsky, Balanchine, and several other contemporaries, whether a page-to-stage approach exists for ballet. A supplementary enquiry explores how such an approach is manifested within different methods of choreography. This study finds that there are difficulties in applying the choreomusical page-to-stage approach to analysing changing attitudes to music/dance relationships. At another level, this study points to the benefit of incorporating the concept of diegesis in analysing the changing attitudes to music/dance relationships.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Music

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

2 Strategic Basic Research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

New Zealand School of Music


Robb, Hamish