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  Dancer Chelsea Wilcox in Lark Ascending in spring 2007. Photographer Steve Wilson.

Lark Ascending
Choreography: Bruce Marks
Music: Ralph Vaughan Williams

This ballet is a metaphor for the struggle to achieve, to create, to triumph by reaching one’s potential. Bruce Marks said, “Lark is about the journey of life, that eternal fight against gravity.

Each time I see the lark ascend I know why we dance.” He set his piece to the Vaughan Williams score, The Lark Ascending. Vaughan Williams based the score on English poet George Meredith’s poem by the same name and included this portion of the text with his published work:

He rises and begins to round, He drops the silver chain of sound, Of many links without a break, In chirrup, whistle, slur and shake.

For singing till his heaven fills, ‘Tis love of earth that he instils, And ever winging up and up, Our valley is his golden cup, And he the wine which overflows To lift us with him as he goes.

Till lost on his aerial rings In light, and then the fancy sings.

--George Meredith

World Premiere: July 1979, Ballet West

Kansas City Ballet Premiere: May 3, 2007, Lyric Theatre, Kansas City, Missouri


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