Monday, 24 February 2014

Divertissements (The Sleeping Beauty)

Classical ballets (think The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, The Nutcracker) are not my favourite. This is because with most classical ballets the plot is covered pretty quickly, so to create a full length performance, they need to be padded out with extra bits of dancing. Usually this is done in a party scene, where various guests perform solos and group dances (called "pas-de-insert-french-number"). These scenes always irritate me a little, as they seem really random, especially when the guests are cats or suits of cards... Often these scenes occur at the very end of a ballet when the story is basically over and one could leave feeling satisfied but instead is forced to sit for another half hour while the performance drags on... (At least with classical ballets like Swan Lake and Giselle the party scenes are at the beginning and so end on a dramatic high). But this article from the Royal Ballet website sheds some light on these so-called divertissements, which has made me reconsider their value. So I am looking forward to seeing the Royal Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty in the cinema on March 19th!

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