Ironically, I think the black and white filming helps as well. To my mind, the orange of Orpheus’ leotard has always distracted from the gravity of the story.
Hmm. Having seen both DVDs 1 and 2 now, I've been thinking that Orpheus is the ballet that loses the most by loss of color. That goes to show you, different people will look at the same thing differently.
Color would help us to tell who's who. Most of the men (except for Pluto) have costumes of similar form which differ only in color, and the copper and gold of Orpheus's puts our hero, our tragic hero, in strong contrast to the others, especially to his nemesis, really, The Dark Angel, whose gray costume we can distinguish from Orpheus's here only by the dark trim. (This angel is not heaven-sent, and turns out to be an agent of Orpheus's death.) Don't we relate differently - more warmly? - to this figure from our day-lit surface ground than to the somber characters - the Furies, the Lost Souls, the Dark Angel - who inhabit the nether world underground; he's more nearly one of us, so don't we pity him the more for that? (The lighting in the first and last scenes was warmer, too, as I remember, more like sunlight.)
(The Bacchantes, when they appeared in scene three, back on Earth, seemed bizarre to me, with their red and yellow hair - not lovely ladies, these! - shockingly costumed, but with a purpose, to "set us up" for their dismemberment of poor Orpheus. But Apollo's colors, brown trimmed in red, if I remember correctly, seemed appropriately magisterial when he appeared at the end.)
Edited by Jack Reed, 29 April 2014 - 08:14 AM.