Ballad of You and Me: The Music of Pete Seeger
Choreographer: Lynne Taylor-Corbett
Music: Various compositions by Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie
Costumes: Judanna Lynn
Set Design: Michael R. Smith
Lighting: Lloyd Sobel
World Premiere: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, November 24, 1995
PBT Performance Dates: November 1995, May 1997, April 2004
Program Notes (from PBT playbill, 2004; Printed courtesy of Pacific Northwest Ballet)
By Leland Windreich
Lynne Taylor-Corbett’s rousing dance tribute to Pete Seeger, the great folk singer and political activist, had its world premiere at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre on November 24, 1995, in a program of works by American women choreographers commissioned by ballet director Patricia Wilde. A catalyst in the inspiration of the work was Cassandra Seeger, granddaughter of the ballad singer, who was a member of the Pittsburgh Company and who performed a solo at its premiere.
In preparing this multi-media work for 16 dancers, Taylor-Corbett worked closely with Seeger and gained access to his archives. Eleven of his recorded songs were selected for the ballet and are incorporated into a sound collage which features Seeger’s commentary on his conviction in the McCarthy hearings and a tribute to fellow activist Martin Luther King.
Solos, duets and ensemble dances are performed against a background of projected slide images that amplify the message of each episode. Critics at the Pittsburgh premiere praised Taylor-Corbett for the vitality of the production and for the strength of her vision in this celebration of an American icon.