>Gloria - This blew me away - could anyone fill me in a little more with the story
>and what the characters were supposed to be??
Yes, itís a stunning ballet, isnít it, I was lucky to see the whole thing in May 1990. There isnít a story as such - itís an abstract tribute by Kenneth MacMillan to the War Dead inspired, obviously, by Ploulencís Gloria in G major (from the mass in the Catholic liturgy) and also by Vera Brittainís The War Generation from her Testament of Youth :
In cities and in hamlets we were born,
And little towns behind the van of time;
A closing era mocked our guileless dawn
With jingles of a military rhyme.
But in that song we heard no warning chime,
Nor visualised in hours benign and sweet
The threatening woe that our adventurous feet
Would starkly meet.
Thus we begin, amid the echoes blown
Across our childhood from an earlier war,
Too dim, too soon forgotten, to dethrone
These dreams of happiness we thought secure;
While, imminent and fierce outside the door,
Watching a generation grow to flower,
The fate that held our youth within its power
Waited its hour.
Of course this isnít the only work of this type by Kenneth MacMillan - his ballet "Requiem", set to Faurť's requiem mass, was choreographed as a tribute to his late friend John Cranko.