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Valentine's Question: Does love affect how we view art?


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I have just written a blog piece on Rhapsody and Two Pigeons (Hayward/Hay/Ball/Stix-Brunell cast) and start off by mentioning that these ballets seem to hit me on a deeper level since falling in love. 

 

Do we get the most out of art/dance if we've experienced love, whether it be family, friendship or romantic love?

 

I feel like I understand the themes of certain ballets a lot more now than I used to...

 

Here is a link to my blog, sorry for the self-promotion!

 

http://tothepointemagazine.wix.com/tothepointemagazine#!A-teary-night-at-the-RBs-Ashton-Double-Bill/cmbz/56bcf6320cf2062bd41f6735

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Yes, definitely.  I think we can all relate to the joy and tragedy of love of whatever kind if we have experienced it ourselves.  However, sometimes it's just the pure joy of watching something beautiful happening on a stage that brings tears to my eyes.  

 

Oh....and what a lovely piece of writing, ToThePointe....you managed to bring back all the teary feelings I had on the day!!  Thank you for sharing.   

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Yes and no? I think the emotions one experiences reading, listening and watching art can be heightened or filtered by events in life. 

 

But I think strangely that experiencing love and being happy in life has actually made me more cynical or dismissive about love I see on stage and screen - I can't watch Onegin anymore for instance as I find it too melodramatic, and though I love the story of R&J, I find it at little less relatable now (probably a good thing!). So finding love has made me less of a romantic, but on balance I can't say that I'm sorry about it. :-)

 

Fun topic TTP

Edited by Sunrise
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I don't know if you need to have experienced love. As Ian says, we come to any performance with the sum of who we are at that moment, whether we have experienced happiness, love, a good upbringing or whatever. Most of us have experienced unhappiness of some sort. All these things shape us and give us our world view. 

I remember being in lurrrve for the first time, even though it was a long time ago. It did make everything seemed sharper, brighter, more intense. When it went wrong, it was the worst feeling in the world. But such is life. We are all different and that is why reading the reviews of ballets seen can be so interesting. I have sat in theatres, surrounded by people sobbing at some apparently emotional thing happening on stage, but myself been left completely unmoved. Other times I have been - unusually for me - rendered tearful by Giselle for example. Yet the moment the performance ends, caught in a mad stampede to vacate the theatre. No time to think or reflect on what has just been seen. Did these people not see what I saw, did they not feel what I felt?

I think as Sim says, sometimes something is just beautiful in its own right. It can be a ballet, a piece of music or literature that just moves you at that particular moment. I still squeeze out a tear at the scene in The Railway Children when Big Daddy appears out of the steam!

For those experiencing and enjoying new love, enjoy it and all it brings. Living with that person will bring on a whole new set of emotions. ;)

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I agree, there is art that creates some emotion in you for no reason other than its beauty. I remember when I went to Rome and stood in front of Michelangelo's 'Pieta' statue and was so moved and had a lump in my throat. I was quite young at the time and still at school, and there was something so beautiful about it that moved me. No experience from my side was needed at all to appreciate it!

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It's hard to think that there is anyone, however young, who hasn't experienced some form of love and, yes, our reactions are definitely influenced by experience. Being 'in love' and, particularly, finding that the depth of our love isn't necessarily returned - a rite of passage for most of us at some stage in our lives - helps us to relate to the tragic love stories on different levels but in a perverse way, untested love - the idea rather than the reality of romantic love - can create a heightened emotional response.

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I agree, there is art that creates some emotion in you for no reason other than its beauty. I remember when I went to Rome and stood in front of Michelangelo's 'Pieta' statue and was so moved and had a lump in my throat. I was quite young at the time and still at school, and there was something so beautiful about it that moved me. No experience from my side was needed at all to appreciate it!

There is just something about Rome that makes it difficult not to feel overwhelmed by the simplest experience. Just crossing the threshold of St Peter's still, improbably, fills me with emotion. Given the extraordinary number of tourists who visit as nothing more than the next stop on their itinerary, it should be impossible to feel anything but the history, the beauty, the sincerity of the people who have worshipped there in the past all come together to hit me in the solar plexus.

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I think your "mood" on the day can affect how you view a performance or other art.

 

Of course, as the years pass and life experience grows it can also change how you feel when you see something.

 

Speaking of Rome ... well not really ... I welled up with emotion when I stood in front of the Taj Mahal!  I had been very blasé about going there and thought it was way over-hyped till I got there and saw it for myself.  It is not over-hyped at all!

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I've been watching that programme about the oldies (including Wayne Sleep) who may consider India as a possible place to retire to (as an alternative to Spain etc)

Last week they went to visit the Taj Mahal and several of them were visibly moved by it ....by its sheer beauty.

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Sadly I haven't got to India yet....but I HAVE been to Rome many times as my father was from there.  Just like TTP above,  I will never forget the first time I saw the Pieta in St. Peter's....in the days before she didn't have to be surrounded by a bullet and chisel-proof barrier....I was 16 and not yet a mother, but I was absolutely knocked for six by the expression of a mother grieving for her dead son.  Because this was so beautifully rendered, I didn't have to be a mother to empathise.    

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I am also particularly fond of Rome. Not only is it full of fascinating things to see but there is such an incredible sense of history. Far more than any other city I have been to anyway. It has an atmosphere all its own. I don't get that feeling in London at all for example.

As for the Taj Mahal, I have never seen it although I would love to go there.

I watched a travel programme a while ago, it may have been Karl Pilkington!!

He went to the T.M. and got talking to a guide there who told him that a good number of the tourists who go there, are now more interested in seeing and being photographed sitting on the bench made 'famous' by the late Princess Diana (when she was doing one of her 'my marriage is in the toilet, please feel sorry for me,me,me' broadcasts), than appreciating the beauty of the building in the background.

Back to Rome, my favourite place is the Villa D'Este at Tivoli. To walk round those gardens, late afternoon when most of the tourists have gone and the fountains are on, with the distant views of the Vatican is just magical, another world. Thoroughly recommend it, with or without one's beloved. ;)

Edited by Jacqueline
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