Rhapsody in Blue (Lubovitch)
George Gershwin. Arrangement by Ferde Grofé.
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Rhapsody in Blue is a dance of youth, celebratory and exultant. The mood is jazzy and energetic, with romantic passages for the lead couple. The incorporation of jazz and swing elements into the music provides abrupt rhythm switches that accommodate the driving strides and struts, sharp angular arm slices and the dizzying changes in direction devised by Lubovitch. The romance is very modern, much of the dance side-by-side; both males and females swing arms and legs with propelling speed and force, jut elbows with purpose and sharp form, making every pattern exact and intense but with never a break in the flow. The moves for the ensemble are timed so that they create one continuing wave of wheeling, rolling or spiraling forms that disappear into the wings. Even when the boys seize the girls, raise them overhead and race offstage, the girls are still active, thrusting their legs or throwing their arms ecstatically backward and arching upwards from the boys' hands. The lead couple expresses rhapsodic pleasure in large movements, free in the upper body and with great stretching sweeps of the legs. There are no pointe shoes; all dance is in soft slippers, but with the control and mastery of ballet-trained dancers.
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