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Channeling Bodily Movement in Performing, But How? Stravinsky Petrouchka – Petrouchka’s Room

Hechengzi Li


Y's famous ballet Petrouchka was arranged by the composer into a piano solo work consisting of three diff erent movements. The ballet's music is full of contrasts portrayed by the orchestra and has very percussive quality to the music. The plot for the main characters: petrouchka, the moor, and the ballerina, has an abundance of twists inside the characters' mental states. The dancers use their entire bodies and facial language to depict the story and the struggle with the music. When an intensed musical work such as petrouchka was arranged for piano solo, it is essential to for the pianist to show the depth of the story with the piano.To achieve this state of mind, I believe the key is the "embodied performing experience" that Elisabeth Le Guin suggested; the performer has to physically and mentally channel with the music. It is suggested that body language is the key to the succession or coherency while interpreting and performing work. In this paper, I will use the second movement of Petrouchka (for piano solo) to support this statement further, proving that body language is needed for portraying a work.


Body language; Petrouchka; Stravinsky

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[1] Richard Langham Smith, and Nicholas Williams. "Revised Imagery." The Musical Times 133, no. 1797 (1992): 586.

[2] Elisabeth Le Guin, Boccherini’s Body: An Essay in Carnal Musicology (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006), 23.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18686/ahe.v6i21.6681