Friday, January 11, 2008

Le Cygne and Other Endangered Species

And we finally get to the Swan...

As has been mentioned, this piece is usually done outside of the realm of a one act ballet. I also mentioned that, inside the realm of the ballet, I did not want her to die (as she usually does in the stand alone solo), because it would add too much gravitas. This is, after all a kids ballet.

That said, as Rachel was performing the solo (very nicely) I felt that it needed something.

Now don't get me wrong. As a solo piece, I think it needs simplicity.

One dancer.
Simple white costume.
One spotlight.

But within the "logic" of the ballet, why were we suddenly stopping all the fun and frivolity, so that one dancer could take stage and do a long, simple, somewhat spiritual solo.

So I added a simple processional of all of the animals we have seen before. It echos the strut across the back that we saw during the Rhino dance. But now they just walk slowly looking into the horizon.

In the "Big Budget" version of the ballet, we would be slowly juxtaposing images of endangered and extinct species on the cyclorama.

Dodos and Passenger pigeons. Grey whales. Snow leopards.

A plea for man's stewardship of the planet.

Just like that great Planet Earth tv series, where you see the polar bear swim hundreds of miles, make it to shore and then dig a hole to die in because he can't find anything to eat.

So that way we understand that, yes we can watch all of these animals frolic about for our enjoyment, but all life is fragile... like the swan.

There was just enough symbolism and mystery, without having to hit the audience over the head with it.

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