ABSTRACT

The choreographer George Balanchine famously declared that “I don't create or invent anything, I assemble.” I take the import of this pronouncement to be that he conceived his artistic mission to be that of articulating (in movement) those liberatory tendencies that, without his work, might very well have remained inchoate for his audience, and I illustrate this reading through an examination of his 1957 masterpiece Agon, a ballet whose central pas de deux is a symbolic violation of the laws against miscegenation.

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