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Candidates for Most Bonkers Ballet?


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The RB Giselle thread has got slightly sidetracked into a discussion of "bonkers" ballets, so, which ballets do you think are the most bonkers?  Marco Spada, Le Corsaire and Raymonda have already been mentioned.

"La fille du pharaoh" can continue this list. But it doesn't bother me at all because there are so many lavish dances in these ballets.

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All of them that are not based on real life stories really, think of Swan Lake, rather pathetic Prince falls in love with a white swan and is fooled by a black swan pretending to be white, if anyone ever asks me in the theatre if I know the story I always say sorry no because I couldn't keep a straight face :)

 

Ratmansky's Bolt is certainly bonkers.

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Mayerling is the bonkers one for me  :ph34r: . Trying to keep track of all the female characters and enjoy the dancing drove me bonkers! :rolleyes:

 

I think that's a little unfair.  Admittedly it can be confusing but if you do a minimal amount of homework beforehand, the scenario does make dramatic sense.

 

i can willingly suspend disbelief for the fairy tale ballets so Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty are no problem for me.  It's where the story is meant to be about real people and they all behave completely unrealistically and illogically that I start to scratch my head (and frequently conclude that the dancing isn't good enough to compensate for the nonsense.)

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I think maybe, as frequent balletgoers, we probably get a little inured to the "bonkersness" of ballet scenarios. It's only when I start to try and explain them to other people that I start thinking "Hang on, that really sounds daft".

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What about Prince of the Pagodas? When I went to see the recent Royal Ballet revival I certainly thought the idea of a princess going to the land of the flying frogs to release a prince disguised as a salamander was more than a little bonkers. And then everyone turned into monkeys... I'm hoping to catch the BRB version to see if it is any less bonkers!

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It was in the summer of 2012.  The original score used by MacMillan in 1989 was cut, as was some of the choreography, but the original sets and costumes were remade and did not revert to those used in the 1996 revival.  Unfortunately the cuts still didn't result in an entirely satisfactory ballet.  As some of the reviewers pointed, the scenario by Colin Thubron simply didn't match the music, lovely though the score is.

 

I can't be the only ballet-goer who hopes the new version by BRB solves the problems and makes the most of this, Britten's only ballet.

 

Linda

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Are not all stories not realistic some times? Fairy tales etc.

 

Not bonkers but first time I read plot of La Bayadere took some work to understand.

 

Can you imagine a Royal Prince going home and saying to the queen there is a nice Swan who was actually a princess? Lev Ivanov is my fav choreographer. He was the underdog for me but without him and the theatre manager of the Imperial theatre Ivan Vsevolozhsky in St Petersburgh we would not have Swan Lake.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swan_Lake_(1895)

 

Vsevolozhsky then planned a memorial concert to be given by the Imperial Ballet and Opera at the Mariinsky Theatre in honor of the composer, with the bill consisting of the first act of Tchaikovsky's opera The Maid of Orleans, his overture from Romeo and Juliet, his Coronation Cantana, and the second scene of Swan Lake. The concert was given twice on February 17 and 22, 1894 with the Swan Lake excerpt being presented in a staging by Lev Ivanov, Second Balletmaster to the Imperial Ballet. Ivanov's choreography for the memorial concert was unanimously hailed as wonderful, and though the concert itself was not a success (due to high ticket prices the turnout was poor), Ivanov nevertheless won laurels for his work. The critic Bezobrazov complemented Ivanov, "The staging of the dances in Swan Lake is the work of the Balletmaster Lev Ivanov and does him great honor. Mr. Ivanov revealed a great deal of the finest, most elegant taste. To all the dances the Balletmaster imparted a noble stamp and consistent style."

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Oh, those dancing vegetables!  Once seen, never,forgotten.   Although I did love the second act.

 

I would have to nominate just about anything by Ashley Page, but his This House Will Burn has to be the most bonkers thing I ever saw.  I could not make out what the heck was going on.  Child molesters?  Arson? Edward Watson attacking Galeazzi and wearing her dress?  I remember my companion picking up his jacket as the curtain came down, and muttering, "Thank goodness that's over", only for the curtain to come up again and the entire cast continuing to leap about, smoke cigarettes, rape, and kill each with relentless energy. 

 

About 45 minutes of the most baffling, incomprehensible twaddle I have ever seen.  The bar did extremely well during the interval after that. 

Edited by Fonty
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Aileen, in reply to your post no. 28, it would be hard to find anything other than unenthusiastic reviews.  This was eagerly anticipated - one of those rare full-evening pieces made for the Royal Ballet by a noted modern choreographer.  It pretty well bombed, as I recall.  A waste of the talents of such wonderful dancers as Teddy Kumakawa ("Bring-the-bag") and Irek Mukhamedov ("Mr. Worldly Wise"), not to mention Darcey Bussell as "Mistress Truth-on-Toe".  I do remember Sarah Wildor as a dancing vegetable (pea?  carrot?) but cannot for the life of me remember much about the plot, the choreography or the music. But it certainly qualified as bonkers.

Edited by AnneMarriott
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