Monsters at the Ballet! Is Ballet ever scary?
Posted 01 February 2002 - 02:48 AM
What prompted this question was the performance tonight at NYCB of Firebird. The costumes include some of the most magnificent monsters by Marc Chagall. They are certainly monstrous, but I've never been frightened by them.
Some of the choreography Balanchine seemed most dissatisfied with have to do with monsters - the scenes in Orpheus for both the Furies and the Bacchantes were remade several times, not just by Balanchine (according to accounts, Robbins helped in the monster's dance in the Firebird and Martins in the Furies scene in Orpheus)
So, a few questions: What are the some interesting monsters you've seen in ballet?
Have you ever seen a ballet that frightened you? Truly deadly wilis?
Think of it as an early Hallowe'en and fire away!
Posted 01 February 2002 - 05:45 AM
Posted 01 February 2002 - 09:05 AM
Posted 01 February 2002 - 10:24 AM
.....Sorella Englund's Madge. And, through photos only, Gerda Karstens' before her. A Danish dancer once gave me an imitation of Karstens' performance that literally made me jump back from its force.
There are some performances on film by some very great Russian character dancers in the '40s and '50s that made me long to see them, but, alas, I missed them by accident of birth. frown.gif
Posted 01 February 2002 - 10:34 AM
Death in La Valse can be scary, if it's done very straight (Moncion was good at this). I suppose Drosselmeyer can be, too.
Actually, Irina Dvorovenko can be a truly frightening Myrtha (for once, I'm not being facetious about her!).
I do wonder what was up with the monster in the chicken costume last night in Firebird. Was he trying out for Fille?
Posted 01 February 2002 - 11:05 AM
[ February 01, 2002: Message edited by: Giannina Mooney ]
Posted 01 February 2002 - 11:12 AM
But in general, it's not easy for me to find some really "scary" moment in ballet performances (on the other hand, there are quite a lot of "scary" moments in modern dance, for example the moment when Medea becomes crazy in "Cave of the heart", or the arrival of the Minotaure in "Errand into the Maze"...)
Posted 01 February 2002 - 11:17 AM
Posted 01 February 2002 - 11:29 AM
Then there are certain portions of Eifman's ballet...yeah, even if I like them very much, generally speaking. smile.gif
Posted 01 February 2002 - 02:20 PM
I also imagine, having seen few of them, that Massine had the same powers.
Posted 01 February 2002 - 08:48 PM
Also, the male corps in The Prodigal Son is rather creepy as well, especially the part where they scuttle across the stage in pairs, like mutant spiders or something.
Posted 02 February 2002 - 07:19 PM
Dowell as Carabosse in his production of Sleeping Beauty is extemely malevolent. The moment when he pulls off Catalbutte's wig and plucks at his hair is awful.
Posted 02 February 2002 - 10:23 PM
Posted 03 February 2002 - 10:53 AM
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