Reworking the Ballet / The Iconic Status of Swan Lake

From the introduction to Midgelow 2007: Reworking the Ballet:

“While reworkings in dance have become more accepted […] they are still not as common as they are in theatre, opera, and literature.” (p.1)

“Commonly authors in the field of reworkings have focused upon translations across generic forms – from novel to film, from drama into musical, for example. Discussions around these reworkings have often debated the fidelity between one mode and another, yet these reworkings also encompass other crossings – temporal and geographical.” (p.2)

“[T]he very popularity and visibility (not to mention commercial success) of dances such as Swan Lake, Giselle and The Nutcracker [is pertinent]. Reworkings in many ways rely on, or at least use, an audience’s prior knowledge of the dance which they reference. By using a well-known ballet, references can be mobilised with at least some confidence that an audience will recognise the allusions.” (p.4)

“The ballet Swan Lake is arguably one of the most well-known classical ballets, which has captured the popular imagination and has come to stand as the epitome of all things balletic. Christy Adair similarly writes:

Swan Lake has become synonymous with ballet. The major companies’ productions of this ballet are performed to packed audiences and little-known ballet companies attract audiences when Swan Lake is in their programmes. For many people, the virginal Odette and the whorish Odile are the essence of ballet.’ (Adair 1992:105)

Swan Lake, then, offers an enticing case study both because of the ballet’s canonical and iconic status and on account of the wealth and complexity of the different reworkings that have been staged.” (p.4/5)


One response to “Reworking the Ballet / The Iconic Status of Swan Lake

  1. Pingback: Concentrating on Swan Lake « Ballet Photography

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