A Choreographer Comments (1960)


Juilliard Ensemble 1960; Photo courtesy Judith Chazin-Bennahum


Comment I: Arabesque-A position in which the body is supported one leg, while the other is extended in back with the arms harmoniously disposed. 587 arabesques

Comment II: Jete-A spring from one foot to the other. 224 jetes

Comment III: Pas de Bourrée-Three transfers of weight from one foot to the other.

Comment IV: Tour-a turn. 60 turns

Comment V: Quatrieme en l'air-Leg extended in front.

Comment VI: Bourrée Courue-Small running steps.

Comment VII: Petite Batterie-Small jumping steps in which the legs beat together. 597 beats

Comment VIII: Posé-A step onto a straight leg. 65 poses

Comment IX: Tour-A turn. 184 turns

Comment X: Pas de chat-Literally, step of a cat. 1 Pas de chat

Selma Jeanne Cohen testified:

Of the later Juilliard pieces, A Choreographer Comments probably had some of the wittiest passages Tudor has devised, notably the snidely priggish exposition of the pas de bourrée and the amusing spoof on Swan Lake labeled “1 pas de chat.” Much of the rest was technically ingenious, though some of the audience—after seeing 587 arabesques followed by 597 beats—felt willing to accept Tudor’s assertion that ballet had variety without watching the evidence slowly unroll.

Choreographer Comments begins with three women in short white skirts, joined by three more women and two men who support them in arabesque balances and lifts. Imaginative combinations of arabesques and lyrical adagio movements seamlessly unfold with a couple embracing at the end.

Antony Tudor
Music / Composer
Franz Schubert; Octet in F Major. Opus 166
First Performance
New York
The Juilliard School
April 8, 1960
Juilliard Dance Ensemble
First Performance Cast
Pina Bausch, Chieko Kikuchi, Jennifer Masley, Michael Imber, Jerry King, Virginia Klein, Myron Howard Nadel, Carol Lipman, Koert Stuyf, Benjamin Heller, Mabel Robinson, William Louther, Carol Egan, Barbara Hale
Professional Premiere
Syracuse, NY, Feb 20, 1976 Syracuse Ballet Theatre
Average Length
A Juilliard film – 23 minutes
Number of Dancers
5 Women, 3 Men
Excerpts notated 1963-1964 by students Sheila Zatroch and Margaret Cicierska (Labanotation)
Costumes / Scenery
Thomas DI’Gaetani
Licensing Information
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 Ballet Synopsis excerpted with permission from
The Ballets of Antony Tudor by Judith Chazin-Bennahum.



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