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Jayne linked to the thread here about the last big wedding, saying that we would have to manage without Mel's comments for the upcoming ceremony.  So, let's do the best we can, and as we're waiting for the event, help me remember how many ballets have a wedding as part of their plot.

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, sandik said:

Jayne linked to the thread here about the last big wedding, saying that we would have to manage without Mel's comments for the upcoming ceremony.  So, let's do the best we can, and as we're waiting for the event, help me remember how many ballets have a wedding as part of their plot.

 

There are more ballet engagements than weddings I think but: Sleeping Beauty, Bayadere (when first performed and Makarova's production too --doesn't end well), Coppelia, Don Quixote, Pacquita, A Folk Tale, Midsummer Night's Dream (Balanchine's version anyway), Romeo and Juliet (in any version I imagine), Firebird (in Tetley's version the Princess even comes out wearing a version of Diana's wedding dress), Shurale, Wedding Bouquet, Les Noces (Robbins & Nijinska)...I'm sure many others, but those are the ones my brain began by spitting out....

Edited by Drew

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Giselle certainly has weddings in the it: lots that never happened, leading to doom.  The Prince's wedding and marriage in Swan Lake is never out of the Queen Mother's mind, and us a prime driver of Swan Lake's plot, and Carolyn's upcoming marriage is the reason for Jardin aux Lilacs.

La Sylphide. 

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Posted (edited)

I forgot Raymonda!  But I was thinking actual weddings as opposed to contemplated ones...
 

Edited by Drew

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Whenever a royal wedding rolls around I like to take the opportunity to thank our founding fathers for not foisting the motherland’s ghastly system of hereditary titles upon us. Not that that stops my local public television station from running endless documentaries on the House Formerly Known as Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, not to mention the TV series on Victoria, etc., etc., etc.

We don’t see Rudolf and Stephanie’s wedding in “Mayerling,” but judging by the peek we get at their wedding night, I don't think they woke up with confetti in their underwear.

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5 hours ago, Drew said:

Firebird (in Tetley's version the Princess even comes out wearing a version of Diana's wedding dress)

I missed that one -- will have to find some pictures!

 

2 hours ago, dirac said:

We don’t see Rudolf and Stephanie’s wedding in “Mayerling,” but judging by the peek we get at their wedding night, I don't think they woke up with confetti in their underwear.

Scratchy!

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Ok, lots of weddings and engagements here, happy and sad and something else.  And that makes total sense -- the marriage plot is still one of the most popular structures in western dramas of all sorts.  I think my next question has to do with the choreography itself.  Some of these ballets feature a wedding as part of a standard structure (Petipa's ballet equivalent of the "well-made play" with the final act celebrations used as a device to hang a bunch of diverse solos, duets and group dances, as well as the grand pas de deux), while others use the wedding or engagement as a significant plot device -- the motor that fuels the dramatic development.  Do you have a preference for one or the other of these, do you have a favorite example of a wedding/engagement dance in one of these works (or another we haven't mentioned yet)?  Is there something fundamentally different about a dance that celebrates a wedding, or are they all more distinct in their own rights?

This morning, I think my favorite dance in this category isn't really a "wedding" dance per se (that happens elsewhere with other people in the ballet), but the pas de deux at the end of Balanchine's Midsummer is such a beautiful example of cooperation between partners, alongside all its other virtues -- it makes me very happy whenever I see it.  (Jacques d'Amboise and Allegra Kent at 6:20ish)

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I am hoping that Harry’s marriage works out better than Mayerling’s.  

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I would say that sets the bar pretty low.

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Even his parent's marriage worked out better than Mayerling's.

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Why ? she's supposedly dead under suspicious circumstances . Is that better than suicide? 

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I don't think Princess Stephanie committed suicide.

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A better comparison might be the unions of recent Number Twos. If Harry and Meghan can avoid a trainwreck like that of the Snowdons or the Yorks, they may consider their marriage an unqualified success.  However, since Harry sinks lower in the rankings with each new blessed event, it may not matter much either way as long as his older brother and the missus can keep it together.

We can also hope that Markle will not decide to try her hand at children's books......

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Is there something fundamentally different about a dance that celebrates a wedding, or are they all more distinct in their own rights?

I'd say there is an element of formality, or should be, in such a dance. A wedding, particularly a royal one that involves the heir to the throne, male or female, is a public and political act. In most ballets romance is of course there, but you don't get sexy and the principals never forget that they are on display. 

(I can think of exceptions - for example, if you choose to leave the court or formal setting for more casual and relaxed celebrations among the general public. Those dances could get pretty warm.)

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1 hour ago, dirac said:

"Is there something fundamentally different about a dance that celebrates a wedding, or are they all more distinct in their own rights?"

I'd say there is an element of formality, or should be, in such a dance. A wedding, particularly a royal one that involves the heir to the throne, male or female, is a public and political act. In most ballets romance is of course there, but you don't get sexy and the principals never forget that they are on display.

This put me in mind of the pas de deux in Diamonds, even though it's not "about" a wedding.  With those long, curving pathways that they both travel in order to meet in the middle, I always think of a parlay or a negotiation for an important moment -- for all that this is an example of neoclassical ballet, with its standard gender roles baked into the vocabulary, they seem to meet as equals to me, and make a commitment to each other.

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I’mlooking forward to the music, should be a great mix of traditional and new world.  I fully expect hat/fascinator reports from my fellow BA fashion cops!   

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Well just in terms of fashion I prefer Meghan's simple style to Kate's rather fussy, ornate preferences. So purely on a fashion level I'm looking forward to many years of watching Meghan and her sartorial choices.

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I like each of their styles.

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It would be nice if women could just wear what they wear, as men do. Until that happy day arrives, I guess it should be noted that Kate is going to be queen and Markle will never get to touch the throne with a ten-foot pole, which means the latter has and will have more freedom to wear what she likes or something resembling what she likes. Kate has to wear hose and outfits that are rather matronly by contemporary standards.  On the other hand, she doesn't have to wear those Hardy Amies turbans and white peep-toe platforms that were once standard for the Windsor ladies, so she can be thankful for that.

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This put me in mind of the pas de deux in Diamonds, even though it's not "about" a wedding.  With those long, curving pathways that they both travel in order to meet in the middle, I always think of a parlay or a negotiation for an important moment -- for all that this is an example of neoclassical ballet, with its standard gender roles baked into the vocabulary, they seem to meet as equals to me, and make a commitment to each other.

 

To echo what Arlene Croce wrote back in the day, the woman in "Diamonds" is rather more than equal. As Farrell once said, "In Diamonds, I'm it." Farrell didn't mean that her partner's role was insignificant or superfluous, and we know she certainly didn't dance it that way; but while she may need him in an emotional sense - and I agree with your excellent point about them meeting in the center as a sort of parley - she doesn't depend on him and this is reflected in the dance, "standard gender roles," or no.  And she may, like Millamant, agree to "dwindle into a wife," but you get the feeling there will always be something she keeps for herself.

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Kate is really fond of two of my least favorite fashion styles:

1) the beige pumps. Some people think they go with everything. I think they go with nothing except for maybe a beige/taupe/pale pink outfit. 

For instance this lilac dress calls for something other than brownish pumps:

kate-middleton-germany-outfits-rex-7.jpg

So does this lovely blue outfit:

o-ROYAL-VISIT-570.jpg?4

 

2) The lace dresses. No matter what I think they look like a fancy doily:

elle_katemiddleton_lacedress.jpg?crop=1x

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Kate looks fine, given the constraints I indicated above. She may even be economizing a bit by wearing the go-with-everything beige rather than blowing dough on shoes that may go with only one outfit, thus setting an example for us all. 

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Princess Diana was supposed to become Queen someday as well, but had a much wider range of outfits than Middleton.  I like both Middleton's and Markle's choices, and I think they both wear them well.

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Diana also had limitations on what she could and couldn't wear, but Kate may well have more, in part because the Palace doesn't want the Diana phenomenon to happen again and so some pains are taken to ensure Kate does not outshine her husband in public. It's possible eye-catching clothes may play into that.

(She doesn't have to worry about heels making her tower over him, though.)

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Posted (edited)

The beige pump theory: shoes that match your hosiery--or flesh tone if going bare legged--elongate the leg.  It's the application of the matching tights and pointe shoes practice applied to real life.

Edited by lmspear
Typo

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