Dogs as charactersin ballet
Posted 18 December 2008 - 04:20 PM
I can remember the opening of the Blair Swan Lake for ABT, giving walk-on roles to Enrique Martinez's Great Dane(s); I can think of Hippolyta's hunting pack in Midsummer Night's Dream, and Pepe, the Mexican Terrier in "A Wedding Bouquet". Then, of course, switching genres, there are Simon Legree's dogs in the "Small House of Uncle Thomas" ballet in The King and I. Any others?
Posted 18 December 2008 - 04:41 PM
ADDED I think David Blair's production of "Giselle" had a dog(s) in it.
I have been trying to remember whether there is such a thing as a pas de chien. If there is, our Adult Beginner class hasn't gotten to it.
Two difference between cats and dogs come to mind that show the advantages that cat characters and cat-influenced steps have over dogs, as well as the difficulties that choreographers might face in working with dog-based movement.
(1) Dogs, when excited or after exerting themselves, tend to pant heavily and to allow their tongues to flap outside their mouths. I do not believe that this sort of behavior is encouraged among ballet dancers except in certain modern choreography.
(2) Dogs prior to jumping or running reveal the preparation needed to carry out the movement. Cats tend to mask their preparation as much as possible, as do dancers.
Posted 18 December 2008 - 05:27 PM
Aren't there a pair of poodle dolls in "La Boutique Fantasque"?
Posted 18 December 2008 - 05:39 PM
Posted 18 December 2008 - 05:41 PM
And here they are at the curtain call.
They also attended the post-performance party. One of them, however, seems to have been a young man wearing a poodle suit. He has removed his poodle head for the photo.
Posted 18 December 2008 - 07:28 PM
Posted 18 December 2008 - 08:14 PM
Following Carbro into the realm of modern dance, Mark Morris has put dogs onstage BIG time in "Dogtown,' where everybody behaves in low-down doggy ways, and also in hte hunting scene of l"Allegro," where the dogs scare up a pair of lesbians.
Ronn Guidi's Nutcracker, for Oakland Ballet, has a little dance for the family cat and dog at the party scene. They jump to second, to coupe, and leap forward in attitude very sweetly.
I guess the Big Bad Wolf -- Little Red Riding Hood's -- doesn't count.
My favorite dogs are definitely Wicked Simon of Legree's.
Posted 19 December 2008 - 04:02 AM
Posted 19 December 2008 - 07:58 AM
Posted 28 December 2008 - 12:20 PM
Posted 28 December 2008 - 01:28 PM
Posted 29 December 2008 - 08:19 AM
David Nixon's production of Peter Pan for NBT has a dancer portraying (very convincingly) Nana the Dog-nanny.
Posted 29 December 2008 - 01:44 PM
Not to mention 'Lady into Fox.'
Great topic, Mel.
Posted 29 December 2008 - 05:54 PM
For fox into LADY, there's Jacques d'Amboise's "The Chase".
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