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Are storybook ballets passe?

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Good question -- and I think the Disney factor may be part of it. In the 18th and 19th centuries, fairy tales were considered delightful entertainments -- for adults! -- and I think the pleasure was that a story could be appreciated on so many different levels, depending on the viewer/reader's age and experience. Adults got the satire or morals; children liked the stories. The 16th through 18th centuries had the myths, too, of course, but we don't know those myths well enough (as an audience) to understand them on stage except at the most superficial level.

I wonder if anyone could put on a storybook ballet and have it taken seriously -- although reports of Hineline's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" intrigue me. I haven't seen it, so I don't know whether it's a children's ballet or a general audience one. There are dozens of "Peter Pan's" around, and I think that could be a serious ballet that appeals to adults as well as children, but that's not the approach, at least of the ones I've seen and read about.

The Top Ten fairytales are taken -- there may be folk tales, or lesser known works. There isn't a ballet Beauty and the Beast yet, unless I'm blanking on one now.

Calliope, do you think a fairytale could work for contemporary audiences? Or, perhaps better phrased, how could a storybook ballet work for contemporary audiences?

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The seriousness with which the films of Miyazake and the novels of Neil Gaiman are taken suggest to me that the baleful influence of Disney is waning. The fantastic perhaps will no longer be regarded as mere entertainment for children and the maladjusted. If this is so, then it is just a matter of time until choreographers start basing substantial works on fairy tales and similar narratives.

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