Pierrot Lunaire

‘In the antiquity of the Roman theatre began the ballet of the white clown of innocence with the dark clown experience. Pierrot and Brighella are their lineal descendants and the Columbine their eternal female pawn. In the Commedia dell’arte, Pierrot was called the poet of acrobats. In the 20th century, with the music of Arnold Schoenberg, Pierrot became the inner man. As opposed to Igor Stravinsky’s Petrushka, who is objective, muscular and extrovert, Pierrot Lunaire is a dreamer and a poet, a wistful and human clown, prey to the moods that swing swiftly from ecstasy to hysteria, ever victim of the conflict between the real and the ideal.’

Glen Tetley choreographer

Pierrot Lunaire was the first work by American choreographer Glen Tetley to enter Rambert’s repertory. At its Rambert premiere on 26 January 1967, Christopher Bruce was Pierrot, and this was his first leading role; with Gayrie MacSween and Jonathan Taylor as Columbine and Brighella respectively.

Glen Tetley
Arnold Schoenberg
'Pierrot Lunaire' Song Cycle,
Opus 21,1912
Rouben Ter-Arutunian
John B Read

First performed by Glen Tetley and Company at the New York School of Fashion Design, 5 May 1962.
First performed by Rambert (Ballet Rambert) at the Richmond Theatre, Richmond, Surrey, 26 January 1967.

Christopher Bruce in Pierrot Lunaire (1967) © Anthony Crickmay, courtesy of the V&A Museum.

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