The Bird Ballet: a cosmic dance-drama. The EXPLODING GALAXY.
The Bird Ballet: a cosmic dance-drama.
The Bird Ballet: a cosmic dance-drama.


The Bird Ballet: a cosmic dance-drama.

Original programme and script for The Exploding Galaxy's performance of David Medalla's 'The Bird Ballet', staged at the Roundhouse, north London, October 1967. Sm. oblong 8vo. Two sheets stapled once and folded to make 8pp.

The event included 30 performers appearing in the guises of 62 real or invented birds, poems "sinewed into the sound-structures", kinetic dramas, and pop groups (the programme lists The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Graham Bond, and The Soft Machine as participants, with different ones "in every performance").

Medalla later recounted the origins of the work: "When I was living at 99 Balls Pond Road… in the sixties, I had a lively cat named Bean Curd. One sparkling bright spring morning, Bean Curd came up to my bedroom in the top floor of the house carrying a dead sparrow in his mouth. Bean Curd offered the dead sparrow to me for breakfast! I took the dead sparrow from Bean Curd's mouth. Bean Curd followed me downstairs to the back garden… I buried the dead sparrow in the moist ground of the garden between a plant called Jacob's Ladder and a tall sunflower. In memory of the dead sparrow, and recalling in my head the melodies of 'Ang Pipit' (a Phillippine song, 'The Sparrow') and 'Las Golondrinas' (a Mexican song about the flight of birds), I wrote the script of 'The Bird Ballet'." Medalla, along with Jill Drower and Paul Keeler, are among the performers listed on the back cover.

Faint central vertical crease and minor handling wear. Very Good plus.