Tarik O’Regan’s ballet Mata Hari features ‘Diomedes’ variation

‘Diomedes’ as used in Mata Hari comes at a crucial moment in Act 3, shortly after the second half of the ballet – which deals with the protagonist’s decline – begins.

The music occurs when Mata Hari witnesses the rising success of Isadora Duncan, whose style and stage presence was much more paired down, lean, flowing and “natural” than Mata Hari’s. Really the moment is there to capture not only an imagined Isadora Duncan dance, but rather the changing public taste in the years immediately preceding the First World War. Diomedes is presented pretty much “as is” for solo piano, with some occasional string resonance as we witness Mata Hari’s reaction to falling out of favour. It provides a dramatic contrast to the richly orchestrated material, covering Mata Hari’s seemingly endless touring of Europe, which precedes it.
Tarik O’Regan, Februry 2021

Tarik O’Regan Mati Hari
National Dutch Ballet, premiere Amsterdam February 2016


O’Regan: Mata Hari
Anna Tsygankova & Matthew Rowe
Dutch National Ballet
Release Date: 30 Sep 2016
Catalogue No: 8024261628

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