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chills, thrills and goose bumps

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In a previous post (your favorite small thing) a number of people made reference to their own experience at the ballet with words such as "gives me a chill" and "gives me goose bumps".

Now, wouldn't it be nice to know what is going on in that moment... or at least what is it that could cause such a moment of alertness and excitement?

So what do you think is going on in these magical moments? Is it a mystery, or is there some reasonable explanation for it?

I ask this question because I would think that anyone who performs or anyone who creates the ballet on stage would want to know... now, how do I go about giving this audience a "thrill"? Is it a mystery or can anyone explain just exactly what is going on that makes these chills and goose bumps?

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A part, but not the only part of an audience's "thrill" at seeing a successful moment, entire sequence, or whole performance of any theater comes with a sense of connection with what's going on onstage! A "shock of recognition", if you will. "Yes, I know what he/she means by that!" "Indeed, yes, it must be this way!" or even something essentially simple physically, like Margot Fonteyn starting to change back to a swan at the end of Act II Swan. She simply kept tightening down her bourrées until they were a near-invisible buzz, increasing the fluidity of the "wingy" port de bras, and taking on a facial expression that suggested that she had left the human world, and become an enigmatic animal again. THAT was a thrill to see!

And then of course, there's "WOW!" - Like Kaleria Fedicheva doing the Black Swan thirty-two, and ending by closing into sous-sus en pointe, without coming down to fifth to stop the turns. Or the same ballerina doing the "Bayadere" coda diagonal of tours de basque on the big music - WOW!

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Wonderful question ronny. I've certainly experienced many 'thrills'at the ballet and the music has definately played an important role in my 'thrill'. For example listening to Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Pas coupled with gifted expressive dancers, add a pinch of my own yearnings and emotions= my recipe for the 'thrill'. The music seems to be the mystery as well as the gifts bestowed on the dancers to express themselves thru the music. One of my thrilling moments was seeing Margo and Rudi dance Romeo and Juliet at the Metropolitan. I was young but will always remember the 'thrill'. You've got me thinking! I need to see more ballets and hear more symphonies! Food for the soul!

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I'm not a musician by any means... however, I am sure I have heard that there is a certain set of notes, chords or ? that is known to elicit an emotional response within most human beings? Naturally, I am not suggesting that this is THE reason or, even, A reason for this response of thrills and chills that you're talking about ronny...nevertheless, I wonder if there are any musicians in the house who might speak to this.

I'm sure I heard a program on NPR about this - they specifically spoke about a certain well known piece that Andre Bocelli(sp??) sings...it's an Italian piece, quite familiar, but the name escapes me... Sorry for the aside! :)

Back to the thrills and chills and moments of recognition while watching a ballet - I think it can be similar to the feeling one gets when one meets someone and says "Oh, you too?" in one's mind...it's a meeting of something deep...perhaps of souls? I guess that is what, in some ways, Mel was refering to...something touches you...and you become one with it...?

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I certainly connected to all three of these replys. They are all really wonderful insights (almost gave me goose bumps!)

Thanks so much, and I hope we can hear from more people on this... I am very fascinated by this subject. Sorry I missed that PBS special, sounds like it was a good one. (I'll watch for the re-run)

So any ideas you have on this subject, big or small, please share them with us.

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The music to the dance of the knights from R&J always gives me a chill, whether I'm watching the ballet or whether I'm listening to the CD in the lab with people talking and working all round me. And my visual thrill is the act in Swan Lake where the curtains open to all the mist and then you suddenly realise that the bumps on the stage among the mist are actually the dancers. That was pretty special the first time I saw it. And then the mist rolls into the orchestra pit and the timpani go flat :(

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