Blood Diamond- The Ballet

Here are what I can come up with (off the top of my head) as the most enjoyable full length top 5 live dance performances I’ve seen:

1. Eugene Onegin- Sttugart Ballet

2. La Bayadere- Marinsky Ballet

3. Anytown- Shapiro and Smith (an amazing modern piece set to Bruce Springstein music)

4. Edward Scissorhands- Matthew Bourne (choreography)

5. Swan Lake – Louisville Ballet

This list would have been a lot harder to make if I were including individual pieces, ‘Forbidden Boundaries’ by River North (chor. Frank Chaves) and  ‘Decadance’ by Cedar Lake (chor. Naharin) would have made the list- and I’m not including things I’ve only seen on youtube or tape- therefore eliminating ‘Vespers’ and ‘Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven’ (chor. Ulysses Dove) Petite Mort (kylian) and the entire ‘Seeping Beauty’ by Mats Ek. Also not elligible is the excerpts from Swan Lake performed at Alexandra Ballet by a three-month pregnant Rosanna Ruffo which I saw at age eight and is largely responsible for my switching studios at that time to study with Ms. A, and for my decision to quit gymnastics and stick with ballet (also influential was ripping my hamstrings in gymnastics and the fact that I would be the jolly green giant in comparison to those midgets).

I was thinking about how Tim Burton’s Scissorhands translated so well to a ballet- shocking since someone with razors for hands did a pas de deux and left fewer scratches than my cat manages on my arm- before she was declawed anyways. What really made it wonderful was the story- the characters, the elaborate costumes and sets, as well as flawless dancing, dramatic and quirky characters, and playful, creative choreography. So I was thinking about what other movies would translate well to ballet and here is my top 5 list:

1. Back to the Future- I don’t know how they would do the time machine, but just image all the skateboarding, the ‘enchantment under the sea’ school dance, the crazy Mom turned young slut, the fun with 80’s and 50’s costumes…plus a magical balletic dolorian time machine- choreography by Twyla Tharp

If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits eighty-eight miles per hour... you're gonna see some serious shit.

2. Where the Wild Things Are-think of it as a rogue Billy Elliot- a mix of deranged muppet-esque monsters and intense emotions seen through the eyes of a child- choreography would be by Ohad Naharin and Paul Taylor and costumed by House of Gaga- Lady G herself would make a special appearance

I have no plans to eat anyone

3. The Little Princess- take the classic tale and give young girls a role to aspire to besides Marie/Clara- Almost entirely female driven, it would be the ‘family-friendly piece to see- very classical- imagine the fru-fru costumes, the rigid formations yet precise technique in the schoolgirl scenes, the witch-like presence of Miss Minchin and comedic relief of Amelia- there could also be fantasy ‘dream sequences’ of Sara’s stories such as tales of the ‘diamond mines’- choreography by ex-SAB resident choreographer (who would invoke the spirit of Balanchine) Christopher Wheeldon, costumes by Vera Wang

4. Gladiator- mostly because I love the idea of Russel Crowe being portrayed by a ballet dancer- but the fight sequences would be amazing, the costumes rich and glamorous, and that is one of the best music score’s to come out of Hollywood- choreography would be a collaboration between Kylian (who would take care of all the sections dealing with emotional interactions) and Alonzo Kong/ the martial arts people he collaborated with a few years back for the battles (Two years later, Mark Morris would come out with a version of ‘300’ mostly just to surround himself by half-naked men and boss them around..and I hope I’m working for him at that time)

strength and honor...and little tiny butt-baring costumes

5.The Princess Bride- the movie is funny, romantic, and all around ridiculous- everything a ballet needs! All of the weird characters would translate to wonderful strange choreography- just imagine the fun of the machine and the fire swamp, the hilarious small roles like the boooo! witch, the impressive clergyman, magic max the miracle worker, and of course, the ROUS (rodents of unusual size, I don’t think they exist)- choreography by Matthew Bourne

(Also to Consider: Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Ben Hur, and for the Holidays- A christmas Story (You’ll shoot your eye out!)

7 thoughts on “Blood Diamond- The Ballet

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