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Today in WMH: Dancing With the Right Crowd

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4/30 Today in Weird Music History: 1934.  Igor Stravinsky’s Persephone, a quasi-opera for speaker, solo singers, chorus, dancers and orchestra, is premiered at the Paris Opera.  For the leading role, which is both spoken and danced, Stravinsky reaches into the past and chooses a former dancer with the Ballet Russe, the celebrated 59-year-old ballerina, Ida Rubinstein.  Her early career found her dancing with Nijinsky.  Later she had her own ballet company, who also danced the premiere of Stravinsky’s work.  She also spent a lot of time with her boyfriend and sponsor Walter Guinness, heir to the brewing empire.  Success rule: Keep good company.

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