Events Calendar

Music Graduate Colloquium: Thomas Grey

Friday, March 15, 2019
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Talbot College (TC)
Room: 101
graduate colloquium

Presented by Graduate Studies in Music, the Don Wright Faculty of Music Graduate Colloquium series includes lectures by distinguished guests, Western faculty members, and senior graduate students on all fields of research and creative activity in music.

Thomas Grey (Stanford University)
“The Sublime and Shameful Art: Dancing In and Around the Gesamtkunstwerk”Abstract:
Richard Wagner originally theorized his ‘total art-work of the future’ as a reunification of three ‘sister arts’ – dance, music and poetry – which had gradually become alienated from one another since the golden age of ancient Greek tragedy. At the level of abstract theory, Wagner was glad to emphasize the importance of the human form, its movements and gestures, in the embodiment of a true, ‘purely human’ art form. (All classical-romantic instrumental forms, in Wagner’s theory, are rooted in the physical gestures of dance.) But viewed in the context of actual mid-nineteenth-century institutional practices, ballet elicited only scorn and derision: ‘O herrliche Tanzkunst! O schmähliche Tanzkunst!’ (‘O sublime art of dance! O shameful art of dance!’). This, the outcry that concludes the section on dance in The Art-Work of the Future (1849), sums up Wagner’s polarized attitude toward dance as ideal versus reality, a component of a synthetic Gesamtkunstwerk versus a debased commodity of the modern, Paris-based entertainment industry.

All Colloquium series events take place on selected Fridays in Talbot College 101 at 3:30 pm. (unless otherwise noted). Admission is free, and all are welcome to attend!

For FAQ, parking and other useful patron information visit

End time approximate.

Audrey Yardley-Jones - Graduate Program Assistant
519-661-2111 ext. 85354
Event Type:

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