In the first week of April 2022, TLFCB will hold its first Ballet on the Big Screen and all students and parents from Grade 2 and above are welcome! (There will be more for the younger ones soon.) We hope that these screenings make you feel inspired and influence your dance journey.
Regardless of whether you are a ballet dancer or not, you will inevitably have come across some sort of snippet from a ballet performance, whether it is Odile from Swan Lake doing 32 fouettes, or the iconic Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. While these words may sound familiar to a dancer, they are only the tip of the iceberg in the world of ballet! Each ballet has a story to tell, which is done through movement and emotion. That being said, the art of storytelling in ballet requires so much more than perfect technique – the ability to portray emotions – which more often than not, can be the distinguishing factor between a good performance and an excellent performance.
As a way to put this idea into action, we figured that the more we expose ourselves to these aspects of performing, the more natural it will feel to incorporate into our own dancing styles. To start our journey, we would like to introduce the first two ballets to be screened – ‘A Winter’s Tale’ and ‘Within the Golden Hour’. Both these ballets are choreographed by the well known international choreographer of contemporary ballet – Christopher Wheeldon.
A WINTER’S TALE
A Winter’s Tale is a story that is based on the Shakespearean play which goes by the same name. A deeply emotional story, A Winter’s Tale follows the destruction of a marriage while exploring the themes of jealousy, abandonment, and hopeless love. The ending is uplifting as it brings reconciliation and forgiveness. The two lands between which the drama unfolds are vividly portrayed in movement, sound and image.
In this story, the King of Sicilia, Leontes, is consumed by a mad jealousy suspecting that his pregnant wife Hermione is having an affair with his childhood friend, the King of Bohemia, Polixenes. His actions tear their families apart. Hermione’s baby daughter is abandoned, and she and her son, Mammiluis, die of distress. The baby Perdita, rescued by a shepherd, grows up to fall in love with Florizel, son of Polixenes. The young couple is reunited with the remorseful Leontes, and Hermione is miraculously returned to life.
Here are some excerpts from the ballet, performed by The Royal Ballet.
WITHIN THE GOLDEN HOUR
Within the Golden Hour is the other piece by Christopher Wheeldon that we wanted to focus on. It is an abstract ballet that was originally created for the San Francisco Ballet in 2008, and in 2016 the Royal Ballet adapted it for their re-staging.
Within the Golden Hour is a piece for seven couples, with one of them being the lead pair. The ballet has a magical and otherworldly feel to it, especially because of the light, shimmering costumes. The piece appears to be suspended in the time just before sunset as the colours of the stage keep shifting. The choreography has elements of both classical and contemporary styles of dance, and this is typical of Christopher Wheeldon. Within the Golden Hour relies a lot on the geometric lines and symmetry that the dancers create as they move.
The ballet explores the playfulness of romance and the connection between the dancers in the lead pair. Although the ballet has no plot, Christopher Wheeldon wanted to convey the connectedness of the lead pair and create an enchanting, almost fairy-like atmosphere. And that is what is special about abstract ballets – the choreographer visualises and creates a representation of something that is meaningful to them, but the audience is free to interpret and absorb the performance in a way that resonates with them.
Here excerpts from both versions of the ballet – the one that was created for the San Francisco Ballet and the Royal Ballet’s version. Watch to see how the two companies have interpreted the same choreography!
We hope that having a look at these stories inspires you to come join us at the screenings! Be sure to check out the excerpts from the ballets to get a glimpse at what you can expect, and stay tuned for more announcements on our upcoming screenings. Happy Dancing!