Chopin — Waltz in G flat major, Op. 70, No. 1 (Ballspiel)

Reconstructed by Julia Levien. A dance with an imaginary ball, demonstrating rebound and buoyancy in the body.

Notes

Andrea Mantell Seidel

Reference: Seidel, Andrea. Isadora Duncan in the 21st Century: Capturing the Art and Spirit of the Dancer's Legacy. McFarland Press, 2015.

In [this dance], while similar in theme to the Schubert Ballspiel, the soloist is less innocent and on the cusp of adulthood. She teeters back and forth between the yearnings of a young woman blushing with the excitement and tantalizations of her first love, both real and imagined, and the playfulness of a child. In one moment, on the halting rhythms of the Chopin score, she hops, skips, and turns as she delights in her childhood games, bouncing an imaginary ball and catching it in the air like a flying Mercury. As the music grows more languid and slow, she pauses to flirt shyly with an imagined boyfriend, darting behind imaginary trees and then reappearing again.

Nadia Chilkovsky Nahumck

Reference: Nahumck, Nadia Chilkovsky. Isadora Duncan: The Dances. Washington DC: The National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1994.

An effective bit of sleight of hand takes place during the opening theme, in which the movements depicting the bouncing and tossing of an imaginary ball resemble the themes in the Schubert Ballspiel. A somewhat plaintive second theme, with its halting waltz rhythm, suggests an interlude in a more adolescent mood.

Videos

Title Date Dancers Full Dance? Notes
S.F. Duncan Dancers, 6/23/91, Hotel Nikko Ballroom 1991-06-23 Mary Sano Yes
Amy Garland, at Mignon Garland's S.F. studio, Chopin's Ballspiel 1990-08-10 Amy Garland No Video cuts off after slow section
Amy Garland, at Mignon Garland's S.F. studio, Chopin's Ballspiel 1990-08-10 Amy Garland Yes
Chopin's Ballspiel and Sister Mazurka 1989-04-23 Ann Cogley Yes
Open Eye 1983 Adrienne Ramm Yes Start is cut off
DFI Cunningham 1980 Adrienne Ramm Yes

Related items in the Archives

The San Francisco Museum of Performance and Design > Programs > Isadorables — Dec 28, 1919

The Collection of Christy Cornell-Pape > Programs > Chopin and Schubert — Isadora Duncan — Jul 29, 1908

The Collection of Pamela de Fina > Programs > United Nations Staff Day Performance — Isadora Duncan Dance Group — 1979

The Collection of Mignon Garland > Programs > S.F. Duncan Dancers, The Heritage of Isadora — 1989

The Collection of Mignon Garland > Programs > S.F. Duncan Dancers, Hotel Nikko — 1991

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Programs > Isadora Duncan — 1908

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Programs > Duncan Dance Festival — Isadora Duncan Centenary Dance Company — 1978

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Programs > Isadora Duncan Centenary Dance Company — Jun 24, 1978

The Collection of Barbara Kane > Programs > Homage to Isadora — Madeleine Lytton — 1984

The Collection of Janaea Rose Lyn (McAlee) > Programs > Isadorables

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