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Ariodante

Thick lines on the floor in Paris

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Watching "La Bayadere" from Opera Garnier on DVD I noticed very conspicuous lines on the floor, that were particularly striking in the Scene of the Shades. I've seen lines on stage quite often but those in Paris "La Bayadere" were so thick and striking that they almost looked as if they were painted or projected, like on a football field. It was particularly disturbing in the Shades Scene since the scenery was very romantic and those white lines somehow didn't harmonize with it, not to mention that seeing them made me think about technicalities instead of focusing on the dancing. Somehow, ballet always should look effortless and those lines look almost like huge "cheat sheets". It ruined the eery effect of the whole scene for me (well, not quite - it was too good to be really ruined by anything ;-) ). When I watched "Paquita" from Paris, which was filmed 10 years after "La Bayadere", I've noticed that the lines are much more subtle, almost invisible. Was the floor changed in the meantime or is there a special floor for "La Bayadere" that is part of the sets? I wonder if anybody who works for the Paris Ballet or at least knows Opera Garnier behind the scenes could answer my question.

Thanks a lot in advance!

Best, Iza

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My guess is that you were seeing the tape that is used to hold down the special dance surface (which is generally called marley). Marley comes in widths of about eight feet, and five or six widths are used to cover the stage. There are different kinds of tape -- black, gray, clear, and probably others I don't know about -- so maybe that explains the difference in the videos you saw.

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