Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ballet and fairy tales-article

In my last post I shared my love for ballet combined with fairy tales. For me, the combination of beautiful dancing, costumes, music, and story is such a powerful and emotional experience. I found an online article that highlights the importance of fairy tale plots within the history of ballet. Here's an excerpt:

"Fairy‐tale ballets have drawn upon four main sources: fairy bride legends (for example, Swan Lake and Giselle), folk fairy tales (Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty), literary fairy tales (The Nutcracker, The Red Shoes), and stories of toys, puppets, or automata that come to life (CoppĂ©lia, Petrushka). During its romantic period—from the 1830s to the 1850s—ballet was dominated by the fairy bride motif. Towards the end of the 19th century—and again in the 1940s—folk tales, ‘live toy’ stories, and literary fairy tales (particularly those of Hoffmann and Andersen) became common sources of inspiration. A more recent development, dating from the 1980s, has been an ironic, revisionist approach to familiar fairy tales, often with psychological or strongly ideological overtones."

Click here to read the full article.

Most people are familiar with the Tchaikovsky ballets, but slightly less known is Prokofiev's "Cinderella", one of my all time favorite musical versions of a fairy tale. Here is the Royal Ballet and the pas de deux between the Prince and Cinderella:

And here is the Bolshoi and the midnight scene. Listen for the the musical clock that starts around 1:45-I love using this when teaching music to children! Kindergarteners love to listen for the clock and then count the number of chimes to see if it's midnight, they get really into it!

1 comment:

  1. It's a little off-topic, but the anime series "Princess Tutu" is a gorgeous semi-surrealist fairy tale ballet disguised as a magical girl series. It takes a little time to really get going, but it has a wonderfully satisfying finale.

    (dorky AMV link here: