Dance of the hours

Sitting on the toilet, Bloom recalls a time when he and Molly got dressed together, the "Morning after the bazaar dance when May's band played Ponchielli's dance of the hours." This ten-minute ballet in Amilcare Ponchielli's opera La Gioconda (1876) proved popular as a stand-alone orchestral work, and it has inspired adaptations as diverse as the dance of the animals in Disney's Fantasia and the popular song "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" (which, serendipitously, contains a reference to Ulysses). The reference to the ballet in Calypso calls attention to the narrative structure of Ulysses, which similarly represents the passage of hours in a day. As Bloom thinks about the music Joyce hints that someone like him, reflecting on the course of his day, might write something like this book.

John Hunt 2017

4 May 2014 performance of Ponchielli's Dance of the Hours by the Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida, choreographed by Vladimir Issaev. Source: YouTube.

Allan Sherman's Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah (1963). Source: YouTube.