What do cowgirls, cowboys and ballet have in common? Agnes de Mille and Aaron Copland’s 1942 ballet, Rodeo!
The work was a startling combination that used the traditional, highly technical dance form to portray rowdy frontier scenes with titles like “Buckaroo Holiday” and “Hoedown.”
Agnès de Mille, who was a famous dancer and choreographer, invented the history of ballet and asked Copland to write her western-themed music.
Her story follows a tough cowgirl’s disappointment over an unrequited cowboy crush and joy when she ends up dancing with another.
Copland uses old cowboy tunes and even a note-for-note quote from a Kentucky fiddler’s performance to energize the ballet’s boisterous dances.
Check out this video with interviews with Agnès de Mille and scenes from the ballet with her original choreography!
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Classical Sprouts is produced by Emily Duncan Wilson. Kacie Brown is the Digital Content Manager.