Monsters at the Ballet! Is Ballet ever scary?
Posted 03 February 2002 - 11:10 AM
This question has been dancing out in the back of my head all week. I can remember two instances where I was surprised -- not quite frightened, but not completely sure of the outcome (aside from Romeo and Juliet, where it so often looks as though the men have been given their swords an hour before showtime, and I just can't watch). Once was Nureyev in "Swan Lake" (Royal Ballet, c. 1977) in the final fight with Rothbart. For a few seconds, you really thought Nureyev would win. The moral force of his fighting made Von Rothbart seem weak and evil. I think Von R had to remind him that HE was the winner here, because the impetus of the fight changed rather suddenly, but for just a moment.....
Another time was in the Royal Dane's Giselle, with Peter Bo Bendixen as Hilarion. He's a tall man and looks like a stage villain. When he's first surrounded by the Wilis, he scoffs at them. You could hear him think, "Get real, they're only girls." When they begin to dance around him, his reaction to them makes them monsters -- they're just dancing, he's terrified, like a man caught in quick sand. You can see the moment he realizes that they are not just girls, they're malevolent and he is going to die.
In the 19th century, story telling was often done by inference. In Folk Tale, you know the earth moves not because the stage shakes, but because Ove looks at the ground in something between wonder and terror. Maybe the monsters in Firebird don't look quite as scary to us now at least partly because the other characters don't react to them?
Posted 03 February 2002 - 01:05 PM
Posted 05 February 2002 - 06:58 AM
We have often had small children cry during the Battlescene in Nutcracker.
We did Firebird with a bug theme and Kaschai was a spider and she was REALLY scary!
Posted 11 February 2002 - 01:09 AM
[ February 11, 2002: Message edited by: Andrei ]
Posted 11 February 2002 - 08:36 PM
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