Giselle Question #2: What exactly do you have to do to get to be a Wi
Posted 15 April 2001 - 06:23 PM
Posted 15 April 2001 - 08:59 PM
Posted 16 April 2001 - 12:33 AM
Posted 16 April 2001 - 09:44 AM
They are girls who've died before their wedding day.....I haven't asked about specific causes, but have universal acknowledgement that men are not high on the favourites list.
Especially Albrecht. (See question #1)
While I love the pretty-in-white look which is traditional, I also think that a ghostly, mouldering, shredded look is quite appropriate....the only thing I have strong objections to is wings. Wilis Should Not Wear Wings.
Posted 16 April 2001 - 10:13 AM
Posted 16 April 2001 - 10:49 AM
The idea of the jilted maiden can already be found in Heine's description.
Posted 16 April 2001 - 02:14 PM
From which the plot of the ballet Giselle or The Wilis is taken.
There exists a tradition of the night-dancer, who is known, in Slavic countries, under the name Wili. -- Wilis are young brides-to-be who die before their wedding day. The poor young creatures cannot rest peacefully in their graves. In their stilled hearts and lifeless feet, there remains a love for dancing which they were unable to satisfy during their lifetimes. At midnight they rise out of their graves, gather together in troupes on the roadside, and woe be unto the young man who comes across them! He is forced to dance with them until he dies.
Dressed in their wedding gowns, with wreathes of flowers on their heads and glittering rings on their fingers, the Wilis dance in the moonlight like Elves [italicized]. Their faces, though white as snow, have the beauty of youth. They laugh with a joy so hideous, they call you so seductively, they have an air of such sweet promise, that these dead bacchantes [italicized] are irresistible.
Heinrich HEINE (On Germany) [italicized]
Posted 16 April 2001 - 03:25 PM
The quotation nicely joins the two concepts of "jilted maidens" (or at least those who die before marriage, jilted or not) and love of dancing.
Posted 16 April 2001 - 03:54 PM
They ought to have a buffet table for the poor dears, at the very least.....
Posted 16 April 2001 - 04:53 PM
"It is peculiar to popular legends that their most terrible catastrophes take place at weddings (...). So long as the lips have not yet touched the brim, the pleasant drink may yet be spilled. A gloomy wedding-guest may come unbidden, and one whom no one dares bid hence. He whispers one word in her ear, and the bride grows pale. He makes a secret sign to the bridegroom, who follows him out into the stormy night, and is never seen again. Generally it is a former pledge of love with another."
(H. Heine. Translation by Charles Godfrey Leland, London, 1892)
Posted 15 July 2003 - 11:56 AM
Posted 15 July 2003 - 12:50 PM
Posted 15 July 2003 - 02:52 PM
thank you to doug and marc for the quotes - i love the writing.
actually i have always thought that the wilis could be transposed into 1960's or early 70's, as members of valerie solanis' new york based organisation (whether or not it ever really existed) SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men). sorry to all Y chromosomes present (have i got that right, mel, please?), but i'm intrigued to see WHO else - if anyone - remembers what i am talking about - WITHOUT looking it up!! B)
Posted 15 July 2003 - 04:29 PM
My memory comes from an 1845 essay on Giselle by Gautier, translated from the original, so it may not be the best way of expressing what I think is meant. It comes from the days before the crinoline, and layer upon layers of petticoats were used to add "body" and shape to the skirts. Therefore, one hem (of the outer petticoats) could be damp, and not the next layers above the kick panel. I've actually seen a production of the ballet where some designer had read this passage too, and made one layer of the underskirts of the Romantic tutu gray.
Posted 21 July 2003 - 08:32 AM
what you write about "one hem" is beginning to ring some bells, now...maybe to do with the poem...
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