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Millicent Hodson



Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer, a dance and design team based in London, create ballets and reconstruct modern masterpieces from the Ballets Russes and Ballet Suédois. Hodson, a choreographer and graphic artist, has a PhD in the arts of spectacle from the University of California, Berkeley. Archer, a scenic consultant and art historian, has a PhD in art history from Essex University.

Their creations include Medea and her Children (1991) for Teatro Olympico, Vicenza; Ariadne and the Minotaur (1992) for Teatro Massimo, Palermo; Clytemnestra (1995) for the Olympic Ballet, Milan; Nocturnal Dances of Don Juan Quixote (1997) for Agnès Letestu and José Martinez of the Paris Opéra Ballet with Nina Hyvaarinen of the Finnish National Ballet; Two Waltzes for Three Dancers and Les Valses (1999) for La Scala, Milan; Polarities (2000) for Stockholm 59° North; Hommage to Isadora Duncan (1990 - 2003) for Carla Fracci of the Rome Opera Ballet; Akhmatova, Dance Poems (2004) for Leanne Benjamin of The Royal Ballet. Archer directed Hodson's performance Theogonies (2004) with sculptures by George Kyriacou, London and Geneva. They are reinventing Pas d'acier with Lesley Ann Sayers for Princeton University (2005).

Archer and Hodson have reconstructed three ballets choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky. Le Sacre du printemps (Stravinsky / Roerich, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, 1913) for the Joffrey Balley, New York (1987 / revived Chicago 2001), Paris Opéra Ballet (1991 / revived 1995), Finnish National Ballet (1994 / revived 2003), National Ballet of Portugal (1994), Zurich Ballet (1995), Teatro Municipal, Rio (1996), Rome Opera Ballet (2001 / revived 2003), Kirov Ballet, St Petersburg (2003), Birmingham Royal Ballet (2005), and Hyogo Performing Arts Centre, Kobe, Japan (2005); Till Eulenspiegel (R. Strauss / Edmond Jones, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in America, 1916) for Paris Opéra Ballet (1994) and Rome Opera Ballet (2001); Jeux (Debussy / Bakst, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, 1913) for Verona Ballet (1996), The Royal Ballet, London (2000), Rome Opera Ballet (2001) and Joffrey Ballet, Chicago (2001).

Five ballets by George Balanchine have been reconstructed by Archer and Hodson: Cotillon (Chabrier / Bérard, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, 1932) for Joffrey Ballet, New York (1988); La Chatte (Sauguet / Gabo, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, 1927) for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Montreal (1991); Rome Opera Ballet (2005) and the Cat Solo for the Fracci-Menegatti Zelda, Save me the Waltz at La Sacala, Milan (1999); Le Chant du Rossignol (Stravinksy / Matisse, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, 1925) for Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo (1999), excerpts for Europa Danse to open the Matisse-Picasso Exhibition, Grand Palais, Paris (2002) and the Nightingale and Death Duet for ROH2 at the Linbury Theatre, London (2004); Valse triste (Young Ballet, Petrograd, 1922) for Finnish National Ballet (2004) and Le Bal (Rieti / De Chirico, Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, 1929), Rome Opera Ballet (2005).

They have reconstructed four ballets by Jean Bórlin: Skating Rink (Honegger / Léger, De Maré's Ballets Suédois, 1922) for Zurich Ballet (1996) and the Royal Swedish Ballet (1998); Within the Quota (Porter / Murphy, De Maré's Ballets Suédois, 1923) and Dervishes (Glazunov / Mouveau, De Maré's Ballets Suédois, 1920) for the Royal Swedish Ballet (1998); and La Création du Monde (Milhaud / Léger, De Marés Ballets Suédois, 1923) with Cynthia Odier for Le Musée d'Art et d'Histoire and Le Ballet du Grand Théâtre, Geneva (2000) and for MaggioDanza, Florence (2003).

Several television documentaries have been made about their work, among them The Search for Nijinsky's Rite of Spring (WNET, New York / BBC, London, 1989), Les Printemps du Sacre (ARTE, Paris 1992) and the award-winning Four Emperors and one Nightingale about Le Chant du Rossignol (Dutch TV, 2002). Their production sketches have been exhibited internationally. Hodson, who regularly presents work at Gallery K, London, has exhibited in the USA, Europe and Japan.

Hodson and Archer have published articles on dance in periodicals such as Dance Now, Dancing Times, Dance Theatre Journal and Dance Research (London); Ballet Review, Dance Magazine, Dance Research Journal, Pointe and Parabola (New York); ballettanz (Berlin); Dans (Stockholm); Dance International (Vancouver). Archer has written for Art History and the Macmillan Dictionary of Art (UK) and Pinakoteke (Moscow). He published Nicholas Roerich (Parkstone, Bournemouth, 1999). Hodson wrote for the catalogue of the Nijinsky exhibition at the Dansmuseet, Stockholm and the Musée d'Orsay, Paris (2000) and published Nijinsky's Crime Against Grace her Sacre dance score (Pendragon, New York, 1996), which will publish her book on Jeux, Nijinsky's Bloomsbury Ballet. The couple give lectures and master classes for universities, museums and conferences worldwide.

Kin.

Tzu-Chao Chou; photo: Bill Cooper

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