In 1952, Massine realized a long-standing dream, choreographing Christ’s passion as a
narration in stylized movement, in the spirit of Byzantine mosaics and Italian primitive
painting. It was a work that he had originally choreographed in 1916 (Liturgie) for Diaghilev’s
Ballets Russes, but which was never performed. Set to thirteenth century Gregorian chants
orchestrated by Valentino Bucchi, Laudes Evangelii was performed in European cathedrals
(Nantes, 1951; Perugia, 1952) and at La Scala in Milan (1959) and hailed as a monumental
artistic achievement. The work was also produced for television and aired in Europe and the
United States (April, 1962).
by the Bayerische Staatsoper 2012
Alberto Testa – former dancer, now choreographer, dance critic, scholar and teacher of
dance history, not to mention founder and artistic director of the Positano Prize – was
chosen by Massinein 1952 to portray Judas in his "Laudes Evangeli", first performed the
following year in Perugia and after that elsewhere in Italy and Europe. Testa recalls that
the rehearsals of this “choreographic mystery” were held in Positano in August, and that
Massine would arrive from Li Galli by boat in the morning and return there in the evening.
by Patrizia Vallone, Ballet-dance Magazine, November 2004