Society for Music Analysis TAGS Conference 2014

  • Russell Millard (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


2-3 May 2014, Royal Holloway University of London

'The Salome of Greece': Lyceion, Lycaenion, Daphnis and Desire The character of Lyceion in Ravel’s ballet Daphnis et Chloé has been described by Vladimir Jankélévitch as “the Salome of Greece”; the evocation of the Dance of the Seven Veils in her attempt to seduce Daphnis fed into a craze for Salome-like dancers in the fin de siècle. In adapting Longus’s third-century novel as a ballet, Ravel and his collaborators made a number of modifications, leading to discrepancies between Lyceion and her counterpart in the novel, Lycaenion, changing the character from catalysing agent to narrative obstacle. This paper approaches Lyceion’s scene from the perspective of narrative; in particular, the scene is examined as an example of transvaluation – a change in the narrative hierarchy – during which the act of viewing is gendered as feminine and desiring. This is matched by a diversion of the tonal course of the work, which is rerouted from a symmetrical orbit of the tonic A to a dominant prolongation of C, the eventual goal of the first tableau. The hermeneutic implications of this are considered alongside intertextual links with Wagner’s Tristan and Ravel’s own Rapsodie Espagnole.
Period3 May 2014
Event typeOther


  • Maurice Ravel
  • Musicology
  • Narratology
  • Ballet
  • Ballets Russes
  • Gender
  • Music analysis