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Weddings in Ballet

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Originally posted by Alexandra

Quick!  Name an extant 19th century ballet that is NOT about a wedding or a betrothal?

Err, I don't think that there is a wedding in "The Nutcracker"... But it's true that it's quite difficult to find wedding-less 19th-century ballets.

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Haha! I can't believe I've thought of a wedding in a ballet that has not been mentioned: Romeo and Juliet! Of course, there is no grand wedding pas in this one and the couple certainly does not live happily ever after, nor do they get the traditional grand finale of the entire cast celebrating their big day. In actuality, I suppose it is not a wedding but an elopement (is that a word) so do you consider that to be the same? (Of course, I don't believe that this is a 19th century one either, but someone else will have to clue me in on that as I don't know the history)

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As usual, ronny is going to ask the question WHY? Why are weddings are so popular in great ballets. Alexandra mentioned one... that weddings provide an opportunity to dance. But isn't there something more to it than that? Perhaps something deeper?

I know wedding is a metaphore for spiritual union in many parts of the world. Wedding has a deeply spiritual inference to it. The reason I mention it, is this idea of "happily ever after". They got married and "lived happily ever after". "Happily ever after" is a reference to immortality. And I think that we all know that weddings on the material plane are not always happily ever after!!!! So for that reason I feel that weddings in ballet have to have a deeper significance... it has to be deeper to be "happily ever after" because "happily ever after" can only truely exist in the realm of immortality.

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I guess you could say that Swan Lake doesn't have a wedding, though certainly marriage is important to the story! I think a lot of ballets end in weddings for the same reason that novels do--the ultimate cap to the story. Fairytales tend to end that way too. Funny, I don't think operas often end in weddings. Marriage of Figaro is the only one I can think of. And Lucia has a wedding of course, but it certainly doesn't end happily.

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