How to create a multi-artistic piece. (Part 1 of 2)Written by Andrew Hanna
In late 19th century music world was graced by an artist who would push boundaries of music and art. Richard Wagner laid foundation for performance art. Wagner combined several art forms into a cohesive unit. One of primary elements that Wagner would use to create this holistic creation war music, which was driving force for many of his pieces. But he incorporated other media such as scenic design, costumes, and intricate themes. The themes of many of his operas explored love between people and were expressed through mythical elements. After passing of Wagner, collective art would remain dormant for 30 years after his death. In early 20th century collective art was revived through Serge Diaghilav’s Ballets Russes. His company would explore collective art in a different direction than Wagner. One of primary aspects of Wagner’s operas and Diaghilav’s productions was that Ballets Russes never used speech to narrate story. Wagner on other hand used speech and vocals to express and carry narration. Additionally, method of creation between Ballets Russes and Wagner was that Wagner primarily produced almost every aspect of performance, while on other hand Ballets had a expert in each field to give direction. For example, story line to The Rite of Spring was created by Stravinsky, but choreography was developed by Vaslov Nijinsky. In contrast to this piece, almost every aspect of Wagner’s Das Rheingold was created by Wagner. Wagner created music, designed stage set, instructed movement of actors, etc. The primary difference in method of between Wagner and Ballets Russes is that Ballets Russes relied on input from one expert from each media and Wagner used a solo approach. Many of above artistic works have been archived through various means such as scores, librettos, etc. But unfortunately methods of creation for these productions have been rarely recorded and/or available for scholarly inspection. In two examples above, one can find a libretto on each, which outlines overall story, but does not help artist to learn how to create a multi-artistic piece. In this installment of four articles, questions that will be addressed and answered include: What is a libretto? How can a libretto aid in developing a story line? How does one choose a theme? Should story development be linear or abstract? The first issue that a collective artist must address is theme that will be explored. A theme foundation of for a production. Themes can be simple or complex in design. DeBussey’s Afternoon of a Fawn has a simple theme in that it explores end of innocence and marks beginning of adulthood. In contrast to this piece, Wagner’s Flying Dutchman investigates intricacies of a interpersonal relationship. In these two examples themes are fairly straightforward. On other hand, The Rite of Spring appears to be complex at first, but after analysis one will find that in very least it explores various aspects of primitivism.
|Written by |