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NYCB Vol. 7 No. 20 - Agon

Updated: Apr 4

In 1962, NYCB went on tour to the Soviet Union. Allegra performed Agon with Arthur Mitchell. She wrote: “I was filling in for Diana Adams who was nursing a bad foot. The pas de deux in Agon was created for two tall dancers. [...] I felt I had given this role my personal stamp and elastic style. I was not as tall as Diana, so I tried to extend my lines to the utmost and mesmerize the audience.”

After Allegra’s resounding success in Agon with the Russian audience, Balanchine cast her in all but one of the remaining performances on the tour.

“I was surprised by the Russian audience’s reaction to me. They had great dancers. I was raw, all emotion and desire. I had strange muscles that would die on me, and, to an extent, my style was an interpretation of ballet. There was a bit of Isadora and mountain goat in my dancing. I felt embarrassed about my lack of technique, and sometimes before going on stage, I had to say, ‘Forgive me, God, for what I’m about to do I wish it was better.’ And then I’d do it.” — Once a Dancer... by Allegra Kent (affiliate link)

Filmed in 1973 in Berlin. Allegra Kent and Arthur Mitchell. Via Approximatesonata on YouTube


Check out this Agon sweatshirt featuring Arthur Mitchell and Diana Adams in the Immortal Icons of Dance Shop.


Listen to our podcast episode about Arthur Mitchell

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