Concerning Oracles (1966)


Concerning Oracles

Sally Brayley, Lance Westergard
Photo courtesy of Sally Brayley Bliss


Concerning Oracles is composed of three episodes, both sinister and comic, concerned with the gifts of prophecy. In the first episode, an Elizabethan lady thought to be Mary, Queen of Scots, confronts the powerful symbols of kingdom (an orb), marriage (a chaplet), and death (a skull). The second episode, “Les Mains Gauches,” (originally a small ballet performed at Jacobs Pillow in 1951) deals with the rose and the noose as possible choices during a pas de deux. Though the original character of Fate was changed, the atmosphere of hidden horror still pervades the dance. The third episode, “L’Arcane,” with its setting of a family outing at a picnic table in nineteenth-century provincial France, was a prophetic comedy in which an imperfect fool becomes involved with Tarot cards, love, war, and marriage.

Antony Tudor
Music / Composer
Jacques lbert, Suite Elizabethaine, Capriccio, Divertissement. Regard sur un Crystal. Les Mains Gauches, L’Arcane
US Performance
New York
Metropolitan Opera House
March 27, 1966
Metropolitan Opera Ballet
US Cast Premiere
Nira Paz, Donald Mahler, Jan Mickens, Edith Jerell, Carolyn Martin, Ivan Allen, Lance Westergard, Sally Brayley (Bliss), Susana Aschieri, Nicolyn Emanuel, Sylvia Grinvald, Rhodie Jorgenson, Janet Morse, Sharon O’Connell, Robert Davis, Martin Fredman, William Maloney, David Milnes, Franklin Yezer, Josef Gregory, Howard Sayette
Number of Dancers
Average Length
Costume / Set Design
Peter Harvey
Costumes / Scenery
Metropolitan Opera
Licensing Information

 Ballet Synopsis excerpted with permission from
The Ballets of Antony Tudor by Judith Chazin-Bennahum.



 The Antony Tudor Ballet Trust, P.O.Box 783, Ocean Beach, NY 11770
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