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If "The Fly" can be an opera, why can't it be a ballet?

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My local paper has an article about an opera based on the the Sci Fi horror film "The Fly" :wink: It opened last week in Paris at the Theatre du Chatelet and is scheduled to move to the Los Angeles Opera in September. Composer is Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings). Librettis is David Hwang (M. Butterfly). Director is David Cronenberg who directed the 1986 version of the movie. Conductor was Placido Domingo.

When it comes to creating new work -- and especially to exploring the heights or depths of contemporary culture -- big-league ballet seems quite timid, conservative and risk-adverse compared to contemporary opera. Why is that? Would ballet and the ballet audience benefit from moving into parallel areas of pop-culture plot and newly composed music?

P.S. As far as "The Fly" is concerned, the stories I've found so far on the web seem to focus on the story-line and the male nudity rather than on the quality of the music or the effectiveness of the story and singing. Some photos are here:


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Truth to tell, I think it probably could rather easily be made into a ballet. The talkier a film is, the less likely it would work for choreography. My Dinner with André would be a total disaster. Silent movies, if there weren't too many dialogue cards, generally choreograph well.

As to risk-aversion on the part of ballet producers, I used to think that I knew why, but now I'm convinced that I never had the foggiest idea why.

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You could make a ballet out of "The Fly," although I can't see why and doubt it would be much of a contribution to the art form. Part of the shock effect of the Cronenberg version derives from the graphic and clinical immediacy of Brundle’s deterioration, as Jeff Goldblum pulls out his teeth and nails and observes his body changing. Watching onstage you know it’s just a guy in a fly suit. Also, I’d miss that hospital delivery room scene.

I’d be curious to know what they did in the way of a chorus, as the Cronenberg picture is notably underpopulated – Goldblum and Geena Davis are onscreen alone almost the entire time, and there is only one significant supporting role.

How about "Night of the Living Dead: the Ballet"?

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