Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Maurice Ravel's Boléro was originally written for a ballet but was used in three movies

It is the birthday of French composer Maurice Ravel (1875), whose Boléro (1928) was once held in disdain by critics and described as "a piece for orchestra without music." Ravel's Basque heritage (on his mother's side) influenced his music. His father was Swiss. Ravel toured the United States in 1928 and received an enthusiastic reception. He greatly admired jazz and included some elements in his works. He also admired George Gershwin, whom he met in New York. Boléro was originally written as a ballet for Russian ballerina Ida Rubinstein in 1928. It was also featured in Carole Lombard's 1934 film, Bolero, in the 1957 Mexican film, Raquel's Bolero, and in the 1980 Bo Derek film, 10.

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