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Gone with the Wind as a ballet

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24 replies to this topic

#16 glebb


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Posted 07 October 2000 - 06:33 PM

Cargill, I remember reading in the NYTimes review of the short lived musical that an actor playing a dead soldier rolled over on to the the horses'....contribution, to avoid the curtain.

I used to picture Susan Jaffe as Scarlett but Lillian, you are correct, Miranda Weese is Scarlett

#17 Alexandra


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Posted 07 October 2000 - 07:45 PM

Christa, thanks! If you learn anything, like what the music is, or if they're really going to try to tell the whole story (or whatever) please let us know.

Re casting, I'm going to put up another thread. It's time for a new game Posted Image

#18 The Bard's Ballerina

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Posted 08 October 2000 - 02:57 PM

I'm with pdance. I just don't see how Atlanta Ballet can pull this one off. They do well enough with the Michael Pink evening-length ballets ("Hunchback of Notre Dame," which I did see, and "Dracula," which I didn't). Pink refers to these ballets as "dance dramas," if that's helpful to anyone, and whatever their flaws, they suit Atlanta Ballet well -- set for a smallish stage and company, minimal virtuoso choreography (the "dance" part), strong reliance on mood in the lighting, costumes, and "acting" (the "drama" part), and they're relatively inexpensive to stage without selling production values too short. I haven't seen anything choreographed by McFall so I can't comment on his abilities at all.

I don't see how AB CAN'T be setting itself up for a fall with something like GWTW, where the expectations are bound to be impossibly high. On the other hand, AB's productions generally get very favorable local press (from the reviews, you would have thought Pink's "Dracula" was the next "Swan Lake") and the ballet gets a lot of corporate support.

Oh, well, I guess we shall see. I'm not buying my plane ticket for that 2003 premiere just yet.

#19 Natalia


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Posted 10 October 2000 - 04:58 PM

There is a "War and Peace" opera, so why not a "Gone With the Wind" ballet? I think that it's a splendid idea. MY kind of dance production - costumes! sets! spectacle! old-fashioned, non-offensive romance!

#20 Leigh Witchel

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 05:19 PM

Umm. . .Jeannie?

Civil War?


Racial Stereotypes?


Leigh Witchel - dae@panix.com
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#21 Andrei


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Posted 10 October 2000 - 10:01 PM

It's not a problem at all to show Civil War, Slavery, Racial Stereotipes or even your Hello in ballet.
I think, if the choreographer will chose Tara as the main character of this particular performance, he/she is going to win. Don't you see even in the title "Gone with the wind" all white, black, purple with yellow dots will be swept away and just the Earth will be the same, still feeding and burying us.


#22 Alexandra


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Posted 10 October 2000 - 10:11 PM

Andrei, you cut through all 1056 pages and got to the absolute essence of that book! (As Mr. O'Hara would put it, "Katy Scarlett, the land is the only thing that matters.")

[This message has been edited by alexandra (edited October 10, 2000).]

#23 cargill


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Posted 11 October 2000 - 08:23 AM

I think Andrei, of course, has hit on the real problem. Ballet can convey complex ideas but not complex stories, which is why the idea of even an abridged GWTW as a ballet is so funny. As Leigh said, HELLO. But the essence of love for the land, I think really could work.

#24 dirac


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Posted 11 October 2000 - 01:37 PM

Leigh is right. GWTW is a period piece in every sense. If you update it and cut out all the racial stereotyping, not to mention the glorification of the Ku Klux Klan, the decidedly outdated view of the Reconstruction era, etc., etc., then you won't have much of the book left and fans will be unhappy, because it won't be close enough in spirit to the original property. If you don't alter it -- radically -- they'll get picket lines and probably worse (deservedly so, I should note). Like it or not, the story doesn't make much sense without Mitchell's perspective intact. Recall that one of the crucial events in the story is an assault on Scarlett by Uppity Black Men -- the book uses other terms -- and the subsequent bloody retribution exacted by the gallant KKK. I remain fond of the book and the movie, but in later years you see things that I'm ashamed to admit were not immediately apparent to me at thirteen.

[This message has been edited by dirac (edited October 11, 2000).]

#25 Natalia


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Posted 11 October 2000 - 02:02 PM

Right-on, dirac! However, why can't we enjoy a 'gloss' on GWTW from a pure-entertainment perspective? Are we so jaded at the start of the 21st century that we cannot enjoy entertainment-for-entertainment's sake? Must we always look for deep meanings and form picket lines? How about protesting ABT's "Corsaire" as being anti-feminist or protest the Mariinsky for showing the little black sambos who dance with the Golden Idol in "Bayadere"? Why don't we protest the Kennedy Center next March, as ABT's "Giselle" shows cruelty-to-animals in the Hunt Scene. Gimme a break! Not every work of art has to possess a "deep intellectual meaning" to warm audiences hearts. I pity the jaded intellectuals who are unable to enjoy the performing arts without finding some liberal cause or "reality-blast" in the scenario. It's just as blessed to possess the heart of a child as it is to have the brain of a neurosurgeon. - J.

[This message has been edited by Jeannie (edited October 11, 2000).]

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