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Tolkien and ballet


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#1 Pas

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 03:30 PM

(Moderator's Note: The following thread was springboarded off the thread "boys and ballet" and I thought it was worthy of its own thread on Other Arts. - Mel)

Cavalier,

BilboBaggins makes an important point about how demanding ballet is compared to so-called manly sports. It is one thing to be able, through brute force, to score a touchdown, or knock someone down...but it is quite another thing to do all that your sport requires with poise, balance, and grace. Football players never have to worry about a touchdown being called back because it was done in such an ugly and sloppy way. So in ballet, it is not only doing the thing, it is how one does it...this is much more difficult.

It's quite a challenge. But you can do it.

This is a little bit off the topic, but the name Bilbo reminded me of Legolas the elf/archer in "Lord of the Rings." He moves in a balletic way throughout the film...even in the heat of battle, his arrows find their mark; he is poised; none of his energy is wasted. I wonder if the actor Orlando Bloom studied dance before playing Legolas?

#2 Mel Johnson

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 04:02 PM

Well, he graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, so the opportunity was there. The syllabi for various sorts of acting diplomas and certificates all seem to require "movement and mime" in the completion standards, so I'd say, from the looks of things that he probably took advantage of an opportunity for "special study" as they put it, in stage momement, which of course, includes dance.

#3 BilboBaggins

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Posted 28 January 2003 - 07:51 AM

Fascinating question ... and observation. I've just bought "The Making of the Lord of the Rings", so I'll have to see what biographical information is available ... and, if not there, I may check the LOTR website ...

Interestingly, if you read Tolkien, the elves are renowned for their grace and fluidity of motion (which Orlando Bloom demonstrates far better than Liv Tyler ...) ... and for their song ... I don't recall anything being said about elvish dance ...

I'll report back when I have something ...

BB :>))

#4 JaneD

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 12:30 AM

No mention of dance in his biographic notes, and his hobbies are listed as surfing and skydiving. Also this interesting piece.

"While still in school, Bloom was trying to make it onto a friend's rooftop terrace when he fell two stories and broke his back. The accident almost paralyzed the actor, but surgery let him walk out of the hospital on crutches."

Jane

#5 Mel Johnson

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 04:50 AM

I had thought that there was some mention of Elf-dancing at Caras Galadhon, but a quick check reveals no such account. Peter Jackson did convey the lightness of the Elves in the passage of Caradhras, with Legolas running on top of the snow, and the rest of the Company sinking to their waists, and the poor hobbits to their noses. Tolkien does use dance-imagery in his diverse collected poems, but I'm still looking for Elves dancing in Lord of the Rings.

Bloom seems to have a great movement sense, as his role in Blackhawk Down revealed. As Legolas, he gave very fluid, fluent movements, and in the latter part, as a combat soldier, his movements were choppy, staccato. I been there. They are.

I think Bloom's back must be in fine shape now, at least until he gallantly hoisted a 7-year-old to the microphone at last year's Golden Globes awards, and she proceeded to give her ENTIRE pre-loaded thank-you speech, while Bloom silently suffered. As she launched into yet ANOTHER paragraph thanking everybody down to her second-grade teacher, his eyes (which discovered a mysterious tendency to cross) became the show,and the speech was lost. ;)

#6 BilboBaggins

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 07:12 AM

I guess I'll have to rent a copy of Blackhawk Down ... I've been meaning to see it, but I would not have thought of it in the context of "fluidity of movement" ... the Navy Seals I've met certainly MOVE, but it's not a dance motion!!

I have the Silmarrilion and also the multi-volume History of Middle Earth on order, so if we don't find anything in LOTR, I'll see if the background material offers any guidance.

Interestingly, my 13 year-old daughter tells me her classmates divide into admirers or Noah or of Orlando ... adolescent romance!!

BB

#7 JaneD

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 07:47 AM

I saw Black Hawk Down for the first time on Sunday (borrowed free of charge from my gym!) - it ought to compulsory viewing - especially for all politicians - right now.

The only thing that spoilt the whole power of the film for me was my flat mate shouting "Look, it's Legolas!"

Jane

P.S. During a family Christmas outing to the cinema and on to a good restaurant, my brother went from being known as Nicholas, to Legolas, to Nearly Legless Nick!

#8 BilboBaggins

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 08:12 AM

I feel badly, having helped hijack Cavalier's question and thread, so I'll provide this response and then stop unless I find something specific about elves and dance to report ...

If you enjoy LOTR, there is a parody, published by the Harvard Lampoon (the group responsible for the classic movies "Animal House" starring John Belushi and "Family Vacation" starring Chevy Chase), called "Bored of the Rings" ... to give you a sense of it, the hobbit is Frito (Frito-Lay is a very large maker of crisps in the U.S.), the Elf is known as Legolamb ... the wizard is GoodGulf (U.S. chain of petrol stations -- Gulf -- would advertise with that phrase ....) ... and for the rest, you'll have to get the book ...

BB

#9 Mel Johnson

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 03:26 PM

I tell you what I'll do, if it's OK with all of you: I'll split the LotR posts off from this thread and forum and move them to Other Arts. That way we can keep the original topic clear, and also keep discussing Tolkien and dance, if we want to. What say?

And Bilbo, I have found a reference to dancing Elves, in the "Tale of Tinuviel", the song about Beren and Luthien sung by Legolas. In it, Luthien is described as "dancing-light" and "dancing", so that may be where I recall Dancing Elves. Small wonder that a couple of Tolkienophiles from the Royal Ballet choreographed their own pas de deux for it and presented it at a recent Oxonmoot!

#10 Mel Johnson

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 07:18 PM

There! I did it anyway!;)

#11 dancermom2

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 07:41 PM

My dancer teen daughter is in love with Legolas while my other non-dancing teen daughter is in love with Aragorn...is it because she sees that beautiful movement of a dancer in Legolas?

In Bored with the Rings Legolas is Leg o'Lamb by the way!

Can you tell our family is obsessed with LOTR?

#12 Mel Johnson

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 07:51 PM

And Tom Bombadil is Tom Benzedrine.

Argle bargle morble woosh!

#13 Tancos

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 03:49 PM

This is one of the better online quizzes I've come across:

Which Lord of the Rings Characters are most similar to you?

My results:
#1 Legolas
#2 Aragorn (Strider)
#3 Gandalf the Grey
#4 Frodo Baggins
#5 Elrond
#6 Samwise Gamgee (Sam)
#7 Faramir
#8 Bilbo Baggins
#9 Arwen
#10 Galadriel

Also, if you enjoyed Bored of the Rings, you might enjoy The Tolkien Sarcasm Page.

#14 dirac

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 04:05 PM

Dear old Tim Benzedrine. ("Melts in your brain, not in your hands!") And let us not forget the lands of Twodor and Fordor, as well as Sorhed and his "loathsome squeeze play."

At the risk of being pedantic, the Lampoon spelled it Legolam.

#15 Mel Johnson

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Posted 30 January 2003 - 04:06 PM

I do those things too. I've found that if I do them right after work, though, that I keep coming out Morgoth, so I leave them alone, now.


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