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Horses, ponies and goatsused on stage

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#16 Mel Johnson

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 05:29 AM

Not that I've ever heard about. They can be cantankerous, and could shred a tutu in less time than it takes to tell.

#17 Mashinka


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Posted 27 August 2010 - 06:10 AM

I rather liked the sweet little goat in the Kirov's Awakening of Flora, a perfectly behaved creature. Back in the 1960's the Royal Opera had a catastrophe when the camels engaged as extras in Moses und Aaron went through the stage.

I've seen the Mikhailovsky Spartacus on tour but they didn't bring their tiger. Personally I have mixed feelings about the use of animals on stage, but have enjoyed the acrobatics performed by dolphins and seals at various aqua parks; perhaps they think they are onto a cushy number as by performing a few tricks they get all the fish they want for little effort.

#18 Mel Johnson

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 08:16 AM

♫So long, and thanks for all the fish....♪

#19 Helene



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Posted 27 August 2010 - 08:28 AM

Animals in opera and ballet make me nervous, like when someone loses a piece of costume or drops a flower. All I can focus on is whether the animal, no matter how many enemas it has had, will just go onstage, or no matter how trained will get nervous from an unexpected event or movement, just as something on the stage floor makes me expect someone to trip over it.

I'm sure there are animals who are temperamentally suited to the stage and love to be in the spotlight (literally and figuratively), but, for me, it's never worth it.

#20 JMcN


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Posted 28 August 2010 - 11:14 AM

I've seen plenty of misbehaving pigeons in Two Pigeons. On the last night of BRB's season at the Lowry last year, when the pigeon flew in at the end it landed on Chi Cao's head and wouldn't move. He managed to disentangle it in the end and he and Ambra Vallo cuddled it till the curtain came down. It actually looked very romantic but I bet it was pigeon pie for supper!

BRB also have a horse in the hunting scene in Giselle but only in Bimingham. The huntsmen have 2 dogs (I think Salukis).

I was watching an NBT class at Leeds Grand a couple of years ago when an unscheduled pigeon made an appearance and spent a considerable amount of time fluttering around the auditorium! I never did find out where it escaped to!

#21 duffster


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Posted 28 August 2010 - 06:44 PM

Once during a performance of Nutcracker(Snow Scene) a bat decided to make a appearance flying out way above the audience and back to the rafters of the theatre. This was at the Academy of Music here in Philadelphia. Those of us doing snow were terrified of it landing on our heads, being stuck to our hairnets, while trying to dance. The bat disappeared after about five minutes of flying back and forth. It was a Nutcracker season I'll never forget!

#22 4mrdncr


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Posted 30 August 2010 - 07:04 PM

I've seen 2 horses and a donkey in a NY City Opera production of Carmen way back when. And I still love the Russian wolfhounds (borzois) ABT uses in Giselle (I don't think they are used in Swan Lake anymore.) My babysitter when I was small had a borzoi, and I always loved the way it looked and moved.

My favorite onstage animal experience was at a Siegfried & Roy performance in Las Vegas. Of course they had the white tigers etc., but I will always remember the elephant. It stood on its hind legs, trunk in the air, and well ... I was VERY VERY glad I was not sitting in the first few rows, and felt sorry that management hadn't warned those patrons so situated to wear a raincoat.

(Which is why I do not think I need to see either a live tiger or elephant in "La Bayadere" --- and BTW isn't Solor returning from a tiger hunt in Act1, so wouldn't his prey be dead?!)

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