Peter Milton “Sight Lines I: Tracking Shot”

Some Notes on Divertissement

Divertissement is an experimental variation of Dress Rehearsal. A year ago, I was commissioned for a new version to use in a LED light display and decided to re-orchestrate it into a larger production.

In Dress Rehearsal a small group is preparing for a rehearsal of an unknown theatrical chamber piece. When I bring them to the new version the theatrical troupe expands, suggesting need for a greater repertoire and wider references.

Much Sturm und Drang and passage of time. The accumulation itself becomes the new drama of me intrigued by how far the pile up of layers can go before swallowing the entire core coherence whole. I have to resist imagining an insidious quicksand of limp layers ingesting the entire shebang.

Though perhaps seeming more like dry issues of process, The remnants of its drama informs everything. The number of layers, either deleted, merged, or ghostly lurking, ended into the thousands.

The subject still remains is a cabaret, stage and proscenium.

The players now include:

Lotte Jacobi's Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya (aka Pirate Jenny); Mack's knives and references to several Three Penny Opera related venues. A British nude-cyclist club member with hat and cuddling wolf child. Cabaret's Joel Grey, Cocteau and his beast of La Belle et La BÍte, Sir Alma Tadema's double flute players. A troupe of young musician/roller skaters joining Mary Cassatt via Degas, Joyce, Nijinsky, Nureyev, ballerinas Fontaine, Kirkland, Kowroski, and a tiny shard of a Titian Venus. At the center, a mercilessly modernized Bouguereau Venus and a masked appropriated me discretely rejuvenated by way of Michelangelo, wolf masks and wishful thinking. More dogs, a leopard, a cat, a frog, a strolling stork in passeggiata mode, and, to cap it all, a pending totentanz in which a Hans Leinberger death figurine faces towards a Balanchine's Bugaku prima dancer and contemplates its final, not yet consummated, Divertissement.  


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