The Agon of Opera and Dance

May 3, 2013, 9:00 am9:00 am
245 East Pyne
Event Description

Assembling perspectives from musicology, theater and performance studies, dance history and criticism, and cinema and media studies, “The Agon of Opera and Dance” aims to explore the conceptual and practical polarities of opera and dance. Through the cultivation of a meaningful dialogue between academics and practitioners, it is our hope that the symposium will bring new prominence to the question of this longstanding agon, launching a sophisticated and thorough inquiry into the confrontation and complementarity of opera and dance. is external)

The Agon of Opera and Dance is presented by the Princeton University Department of Music, the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and the Lewis Center for the Arts, in association with The Opera Quarterly.

Schedule of Events

Friday May 3rd, 2013

4:30 – 5:45 pm, Room 102, Woolworth Building

Social Movements: Staging Dance Scenes in Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera

Mary Ann Smart (University of California Berkeley, Music)

In dialogue with Peter Brooks (Princeton University, Comparative Literature), Caryl Emerson (Princeton University, Slavic) and Ellen Lockhart (Princeton Society of Fellows).

6:00 – 7:30pm, Room 102, Woolworth Building
Choreographers’ Opera

Screening: Excerpts from Trisha Brown’s L’Orfeo (Monteverdi), Mark Morris’ Dido and Aeneas (Purcell), and Pina Bausch’s Orpheus und Eurydike (Gluck).

Pre-screening remarks by Tina Fehlandt (Princeton University, Lewis Center for the Arts, Program in Dance).

Saturday May 4th, 2013

10:00 –11:30 am, McAlpin Rehearsal Hall, Woolworth Building

Roundtable Discussion of “Choreographers’ Opera”

Moderated by David J. Levin (University of Chicago; Co-Executive Editor, Opera Quarterly)

In dialogue with Joan Acocella (The New Yorker Magazine), Jeffrey Dolven (Princeton University, English), Lynn Garafola (Barnard College, Dance), Bonnie Gordon (University of Virginia, Music), and Heather Wiebe (King’s College London, Music).

11:30 am-1 pm Lunch on own.

1:00 – 2:30 pm, McAlpin Rehearsal Hall, Woolworth Building

Lecture/Demonstration: Weakness, a one-act opera by Barbara White, premiered at Princeton University McCarter Theater (2012) with choreography by Kate Weare

Barbara White (Princeton University, Music, Composition)

In dialogue with Wendy Heller (Princeton University, Music), Elizabeth Kendall (The New School, Writing) and Ryan Minor (Stony Brook University, Music; Co-Executive Editor, Opera Quarterly).

2:45 – 4:15 pm, McAlpin Rehearsal Hall, Woolworth Building

Opera Art: Yinka Shonibare’s Un ballo in maschera

Rebecca Schneider (Brown University, Theater and Performance Studies)

In dialogue with Alessandra Campana (Tufts University, Music), Arman Schwartz (Columbia University, Music) and Christopher Morris (University College Cork).

4:45 – 6:00 pm, McAlpin Rehearsal Hall, Woolworth Building

Eccentric Dance, the New Dance of the 1920s

Tim Scholl (Oberlin College & Conservatory, Russian)

In dialogue withLynn Garafola (Barnard College, Dance), Simon Morrison (Princeton University, Music) and Janice Ross (Stanford University, Dance).


6:30 -7:45 pm, Hagan Dance Studio, Lewis Center for the Arts, 185 Nassau Street.

Film Screening - “Baroque Suite,” directed by Troy Herion (Princeton University, Music and the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities) with choreography by Meg Foley.

“Structural Appropriation”, a work-in-progress by Princeton choreographer, Rebecca Lazier, in collaboration with dancers Silas Riener ’06, Cori Kresge, Pierre Guilbault, Christopher Ralph and Princeton composers Leila Adu, Cenk Ergun, Quinn Collins and Jeff Snyder. The piece gives each art equal value; sound and movement modules follow the compositional and performance instructions specified in Terry Riley’s In C. Produced by Opera Cabal (Chicago/NYC) and Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts.

Post-performance discussion moderated by New York Times dance critic Claudia La Rocco.

8 pm Post-performance Reception, Lewis Center for the Arts.


Symposium Committee

Primary contact: sends e-mail)

Symposium Coordinators:

Jim Steichen (link is external)(ABD, Department of Music at Princeton University): sends e-mail)

Elizabeth H Stern (PhD Candidate, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Princeton University): sends e-mail)

Majel Connery (link is external)(PhD, Department of Music, University of Chicago; Executive Director, Opera Cabal): sends e-mail)


Faculty Sponsors:

Caryl Emerson (Princeton University. Slavic Languages and Literatures; Comparative Literature)

Wendy Heller(link is external) (Princeton University. Department of Music; Italian Studies)

Serguei Oushakine (Princeton University. Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures; Anthropology; Program in Russian and Eurasian Studies)