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Dance of the Hours is a ballet from the opera La Gioconda composed by Amilcare Ponchielli.

The ballet was used in the Walt Disney animated film Fantasia, albeit with ballet-dancing hippos (complete with tutus), ostriches, alligators and elephants.[1] Some of the orchestration was revised by conductor Leopold Stokowski.

The piece may best be recognized from one segment of it that formed the basis for the hit song "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh" and its sequel "Return to Camp Granada" by Allan Sherman. That same segment has also been used in television advertisements (Velveeta, et al.) as recently as 2005. It is also the source of the tune for the song "Like I Do", a hit for Maureen Evans in 1962.

The rendition by Spike Jones and His City Slickers included several segments of the melody, although presented out of order to suit the presentation of the record, a parody of the Indianapolis 500 that was effectively a sequel to their William Tell Overture. The portion recognizable as the basis for "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh" is executed by banging pipes and honking bicycle horns, with each individual "clang" or "honk" producing the proper pitch of the note.

On the reverse side of the Jones recording released to radio stations was a "Musical Round Table" discussion, during which Jones and some of his performers described the recording of the song, including commentary on instrumentation. Jones famously introduced the discussion with his trademark "Thank you, music lovers", then proceeded to dissect the recording, inserting excerpts where needed.

Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon created a new rendition of Dance of the Hours for his ballet company, Morphoses [1]. The work was featured in the company's New York debut, on October 17, 2007.

The music also appeared in an episode of Garfield and Friends entitled "The Garfield Opera", in which Garfield and the others sing to the music's tune.

Wakko from Animaniacs belches Dance of the Hours.

It is heard in the beginning of an episode of Camp Lazlo.

The "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh" section can be heard in the episode of The Simpsons entitled "The Burns and the Bees" as Mr. Burns attends Billionaires Camp and also in "Marge Be Not Proud" as Bart replaces the tape of the answering machine with a cassette of the song.

References

  1. ^ Allan, Robin (1999). Walt Disney and Europe. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press US. p. 149. ISBN 9780253213532.  
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See also

The opera is pre-dated by "The Dancing Hours", a famous design on Wedgwood pottery. "The Dancing Hours" depicts the classical Horae, personifications of the hours of the day, and the design is attributed to the eighteenth-century sculptor John Flaxman.[2]

External links

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