12 December 2014
Mods and Rockers ’63
18th December 1963, Western Theatre Ballet Prince Charles Theatre, London; 1996 Sarasota Ballet, Florida
Britain’s first ‘beat’ ballet, the score is based on a wide variety of The Beatles’ titles. Leather-clad Rockers meet Mods at a dance hall and Mod girl falls for Rocker boy.
Anyone come across this? Saw either performance or is aware of a recording of the score?
I don’t think I’ve ever heard of it before. Presumably the score still exists if it was restaged in 1996. The Florida ballet company might be able to help.
20 August 2013
I’m looking it up. I’ll post what I come across.
Ballet With A Beat
By KRISTY MONTEE Dance Writer, February 6, 1994
In 1962, a British choreographer named Peter Darrell wanted to create a ballet based on London’s young subculture, the Mods and Rockers.
For music, Darrell chose the songs of an obscure rock group whose only record had peaked at number 21 on the English charts. At the premiere, the ballet caught the eye of serious London critics who hailed a new era in dance.
The ballet, Mods and Rockers, died a swift and inglorious death. The singing group, the Beatles, well, they went on to have a hit record or two. But the critics were right: The face of classical ballet was forever changed.
“Mods and Rockers” (1963)
British choreographer Peter Darrell’s “Mods and Rockers” has been called the first ballet set to Beatles tunes. With a storyline about rival youth gangs, the piece debuted in London, courtesy of Western Theatre Ballet. With better-late-than-never resolve, the Sarasota Ballet gave “Mods and Rockers” its U.S. premiere in 1996.
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In 1963, Peter Darrell depicted teen-age gangs at a disco in “Mods and Rockers,” for England’s trendy Western Theater Ballet. The accompaniment was an arrangement of songs by the most talked-about rock group of the day: the Beatles. “Mods and Rockers” was a sensation.
The Peter Darrell Trust should have a copy of the score.
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20 January 2015
10 November 2010
Sounds like Quadrophenia…
…except with ballet…
…and with the Beatles’ music instead of The Who…
…and a full decade before…
Actually, it sounds nothing like Quadrophenia.
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