6

Maguy Marin’s inspired 1988 ballet Cinderella was performed on a dollhouse-style set and had every character dressed as if they were a doll themselves. With dancers driving toy cars, a hobbyhorse that takes the prince around the world, and “a huge rag doll who sheds her outer lining to become an androgynous robotlike knight with a neon light that doubles as sword and wand” , Marin’s rendition of the fairytale shows themes of childhood imagination, as well as childhood fears. You can watch a trailer here .

Gothic Ballets

Ballet is filled with the supernatural - when you have dancers who train to become so graceful that they glide and float over the stage, why wouldn’t one have them portray heroines, both earthly and unearthly? Here are some beautiful and Gothic ballets a heroine should watch - online (through the links in the title), and in-person if given the chance.

Swan Lake

A heroine trapped in the form of a swan, a Noble Champion dedicated to saving her, a wicked sorcerer with an amazing outfit, and a tragic ending - Swan Lake is ideal for any heroine. It also may be the most approachable ballet for non-aficionados to watch, as almost everyone is familiar with Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake suite, and the plot was used for the 1994 movie The Swan Princess, and 2003′s Barbie of Swan Lake.

Giselle

A story of tragic love and supernatural vengeance, Giselle is about a young girl who dies of a broken heart when she discovers that the man she loves is engaged to marry another women. After her death, she is taken in by the Wilis, virgin women who died before they could wed, who dance men to their deaths - they target Giselle’s lover, but she saves him with her love and devotion. 

La Sylphide

The story of La Sylphide is filled with fae and Highland forests. A sylph falls in love with the already betrothed James, who abandons his fiance in favour of the fairy - but witches plot against James for a slight, and are determined to kill James and unite his betrothed with his best friend. Romance, tragedy, and magic all abound on the stage as supernatural beings meddle in the lives of mortals, with fatal ends.

La Esmeralda

Based on the novel Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo, La Esmeralda focuses on the story of Esmeralda, a Rroma girl in Paris who finds herself pursued by many men, including the villainous archdeacon Claude Frollo, while she loves the captain of the King’s Archers, Phoebus. La Esmeralda has all the love and yearning and heartbreak of other Gothic ballets, but has itself a happy ending, a welcome change from the bleak novel.

Dracula

Many ballet companies have taken on the challenge of adapting Dracula from the novel to the stage, bringing it to life en pointe. But it is a very challenging story to adapt for the ballet world - while the story of the vampire in pursuit of young and pure maidens is perfect for the ballet world, many directors have difficulty simplifying the story to fit the stage. Here is a portion of the adaption done by Northwest Ballet in Bellingham, Washington - other portions of the ballet can be found on the poster’s profile.

What is your favourite Gothic ballet?

Your doting

Miss A