The Ox on the roof (Darius Milhaud)
It was initially about a music intended to accompany a silent film by Charlie Chaplin (" cinema-fantaisie" for Violin and Piano). Its transformation into Ballet made all its success. The scenario is inspired by Jean Cocteau with decorations of Raoul Dufy.
The title is that of an old song Brésil ienne.
There is no strictly speaking history but a succession of scenes based on a music of Brazilian inspiration, country which the type-setter attended. The decoration is that of a bar which sees circulating several characters: a bookmaker, a dwarf, a boxer, a woman equipped as a man, a police officer who is made decapitate by the blades of a ventilator before ressusciter… The first actors were in fact of the clowns of the circus Médrano, the Fratellini. The Chorégraphie was voluntarily very slow, in shift with the sharp and merry side of the musical accompaniment.
The refrain reconsiders nearly fourteen times twelve different tonalities.
First was given in February 1920 to the Théâtre of the Fields-Élysées and comprised, in addition to the ballet, creations of Adieu New York of Georges Auric, of Cocardes of Francis Poulenc and the Three small wedding cakes of Erik Satie.
The version for small Orchestre was followed with another for Piano to four hands, subtitled “cinema symphony on South American airs”.
Its execution lasts approximately fifteen minutes.
- The Ox chronicles-How the OX got one the roof: Darius Milhaud and the Brazilian sources off " The Ox on Toit" by Daniella Thompson.
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