“There was a fire on stage…”
That’s all we get of Odette’s backstory?
Like everyone else, I’ve been wondering just how a little fire caused someone to become crippled. Anyone else craving a flashback?
On the plus side- theories galore!
“A fire on stage’ could mean different things…
A set piece is set on fire and falls on her
Or Her costume catches fire
Or the stage lighting sets off a gas explosion
And/or the opera house burns down
… ok, let’s talk about that last one.
This here is the Salle de la Peletier, the previous home of the Paris Opéra (also known as Opéra Le Peletier). This is where Mérante (and likely Odette) would have danced and Mérante began his career as choreographer.
On the night of November 29th, 1873 it burned to the ground.
This was just one of hundreds of theaters that burned down during the 1800′s from the new gas lighting. Some interesting notes about this fire…
Burned for over 27 hours
Source of the fire- unknown
Injuries/deaths- none (???)
Other theater fires resulted in the deaths of hundreds, injured thousands. It’s possible I just haven’t found the right source, but so far nothing, and that’s unusual.
Also note the timing- this would have happened about 10 years before the movie. Remember who’s been working with Mérante for 10 years?
So, one theory for that ‘fire on stage’
… might have been an understatement.