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Sweet, cute and happy ballets?What ballets other then La fille mal gardee?


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#1 SpanCox

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 01:12 PM

Hello.

This is my first post on this board, please shoot me if this is the wrong forum.

I do like ballet a lot, danced from 8-12 before an injury ended that.

My wife did not use to appreciate ballet as much as I, she thought it was too stiff and never felt especially touched from it.
Until we went to see "La fille mal gardee" last year (Royal Swedish Ballet), that ballet suddenly reached through to her.

Since La fille is such an uncommon ballet, I am looking for similar ballets to take her to.
What other ballets is there that is sweet, cute and romantic - but not pointed entirely towards kids?


Best regards
SpanCox

#2 richard53dog

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 01:47 PM

Hello.
.

My wife did not use to appreciate ballet as much as I, she thought it was too stiff and never felt especially touched from it.
Until we went to see "La fille mal gardee" last year (Royal Swedish Ballet), that ballet suddenly reached through to her.

Since La fille is such an uncommon ballet, I am looking for similar ballets to take her to.
What other ballets is there that is sweet, cute and romantic - but not pointed entirely towards kids?


Best regards
SpanCox


SpanCox,


I think of Coppelia as being in a similar catergory as La Fille Mal Gardee. It's lovely and romantic and playful, but has a tiny undercurrent of darkness;
the idea of a scientist/doctor trying to bring a doll to life and doing so by trying to draw to life out of a young rascal is not all sweetness and light.
But I think the ballet is just what you are asking for, the undercurrent doesn't hit you over the head and the original score by Delibes is lovely.

And kids enjoy too!

#3 chrisk217

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 03:11 PM

As far as cute and happy goes, Ashton's Les Rendezvous and Les Patineurs are hard to beat. Although short they are as inventive and fun as Fille.

Ratmansky's Bright Stream is also a very happy ballet and has some very cute moments (like the dance of the accordionist with Galya the schoolgirl (synopsis)

It would be wrong to say that Napoli is cute and it does contain some temporary heartbreak but its 3rd act is the happiest I've ever been in a theater and it seemed that way for the dancers dancing it too!

#4 carbro

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 03:21 PM

I adored The Bright Stream, chrisk! :dunno: Does anyone besides the Bolshoi do it?

Another romp your wife might like is Don Quixote, which bears a glancing relationship to Cervantes' novel. It is full of balletic fireworks and concerns the courtship between Basil, the barber, and Kitri, the innkeeper's daughter. A lot of comedy, a lot of bravura dancing. There is, however, a very classical (which is probably what your wife sees as "stiff") scene smack dab in the middle.

Let us know what you choose to see, and how you and your wife liked it.

And welcome to BalletTalk, SpanCox. I'd like to invite you to tell us a bit more about yourself in our Welcome Page.

#5 canbelto

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 03:43 PM

Balanchine's Who Cares, Midsummer's Night Dream, and Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux are inevitable crowd-pleasers. Also, it might not even need to be said, but his Nutcracker is probably the all-time most feel-good ballet ever.
Moving away from Balanchine, I agree that Bright Stream and Coppelia are a lot of fun. Ashton's Cinderella too.

#6 drb

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 03:45 PM

...
Until we went to see "La fille mal gardee" last year (Royal Swedish Ballet), that ballet suddenly reached through to her.
Since La fille is such an uncommon ballet, I am looking for similar ballets to take her to.
What other ballets is there that is sweet, cute and romantic - but not pointed entirely towards kids?

Best regards
SpanCox

While Ashton's Fille is without equal (my favorite full-length ballet of the 20th Century), John Cranko's Taming of the Shrew is great fun, and is in RSB's repertoire.

#7 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 09:40 PM

What other ballets is there that is sweet, cute and romantic - but not pointed entirely towards kids?

Mmm...besides all the above suggestions, i'll give you a lovely and non-pretentious PDD that you and your wife might enjoy. Go on Youtube and just type Munecos Ballet...then click on the one with Xiomara Reyes (ABT) and Yat-Sen Chang , choreography of the cuban Alberto Mendez...Then tell me...(BTW, you can also see it danced by Lorna Feijoo, SFB principal and Rolando Sarabia , MCB principal on Youtube too...)
and Welcome!!
:dunno:

#8 bart

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 07:56 AM

Those Munecos videos are wonderful! There's also a delightful one with Alihaydee Carreno and Rolando Sarabia. The effect is like something from Petroushka without any dark or dangerous elements at all.

How about the "Dance of the Hours" and the other dance segments of Disney's Fantasia? Those frantic, hyperextended ostriches! Those graceful, impeccably classical tutu-clad hippopotami! And the corps of flamingos, as disciplined and mesmerising as the Kirov's! :dunno:

#9 Arizona Native

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 10:00 AM

Another Balanchine romp is "Stars and Stripes." Not often done, "Dances at a Gathering" is full of whimsy and charm, as is the little piece called "Circus," or something like it (it includes children, but is not necessarily *for* children). While not sweet and light, "Green Table" is certainly accessible and moving. In a completely different vein, though admittedly not cheery and lacking a traditional story, I recall "Strange Lands" done by the Stuttgart as particularly moving -- it would satisfy the "not stiff" requirement. Have you tried film? "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" is big fun, and a great dance film.

#10 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 10:03 AM

Those Munecos videos are wonderful! There's also a delightful one with Alihaydee Carreno and Rolando Sarabia. The effect is like something from Petroushka without any dark or dangerous elements at all.

I know...Still, there is some hidden darkness in here bart. See, the interesting element of this PDD is that it tells a multi-cultural/multiracial truncated love story. She impersonates a classic mulata cuban doll, which are tipically made of soft cloth and cotton as stuffing. This dolls , as it's been the tradition since the XVIII Century in Cuba, are made by female members of the family as presents to their daughters or grand daughters..(later on they started being produced comercially), but that's why her movements, when she starts dancing her solo back to the audience, are so flexible, particulary her arms and legs..those dolls have no wires or any stiff material inside, just cloth and cotton. The male character represents an spaniard XIX Century tin soldier, which were also very popular toys back on the days in Cuba. So underneath its cuteness, this is really a sad complex story that talks about social status, race and even politics...(assuming that if he represents an spaniard militar of the cuban XIX Century, she must have been a slave, being black). This tale of "forbidden love" is visually easier to understand when watching the original dancers that vere casted on the roles, also on Youtube: the black cuban ballerina Caridad Martinez and the recently deceased blond Fernando Jhones (RIP).

#11 bart

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 11:02 AM

Thanks, Cristian, for the explanation, and for putting this in its cultural setting. It's fascinating what one can MISS if you don't know the references that local audiences would automatically bring to it. :dunno: Taking a second look, after reading your post, makes viewing this quite a different experience.

#12 Farrell Fan

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 12:02 PM

The circus ballet Arizona Native alludes to is "Circus Polka." It uses the music Stravinsky composed at Balanchine's request for young elephants. In this latter incarnation, the choreography is by Jerome Robbins and the dancers are 48 little girls and a ringmaster. It is performed only on special occasions. As for Robbins's"Dances at a Gathering," there is whimsy to be sure, but the ballet is also romantic and dramatic, though it tells no explicit story. I think the funniest ballet ever choreographed is also by Jerome Robbins -- "The Concert."

#13 bart

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 12:17 PM

I think the funniest ballet ever choreographed is also by Jerome Robbins -- "The Concert."

I agree, farrell fan. But -- although it makes most of us quite "happy" -- I wonder if it meets SpanCox's other two ciriteria: that it be "sweet" and "cute".

I also have to quibble with the choice of "Bright Stream." I know the revival delights audiences, but -- as we've discussed before on this board -- it does sweeten up a period of forced collectivization in the Soviet Union which resulted, directly and indirectly, in the displacement and death of millions. There will always have to be a dark sub-text to that particular ballet, as far as I am concerned.

How about "Who Cares?"

#14 Amy Reusch

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 02:22 PM

Lichine's Graduation Ball

Lynn Taylor-Corbett's Great Galloping Gottschalk... [corrected]

Balanchine's Western Symphony?

The Concert

Must be some deMille thing as well...

Ruthanna Boris' Cakewalk

I'm not sure... how about Fancy Free?

Is Don Quixote too stiff?

#15 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 03:07 PM

How about "Who Cares?"

Sweet.


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