Tag: Ballet and Opera

The Postmodern Desire to Ruin Beauty


If the title of this post sounds like a comment on the tragic tearing-apart of our nation, it isn’t, although you are free to draw connections as you wish. Instead, this essay concerns a single complaint: namely the fact that too many of today’s creative artists doubt the power of beauty, and thus are unwilling to present something of beauty without messing it up.

The arts throughout history are charged with the duty to express a multitude of ideas, including ideas that are dark and difficult. Theater primarily is a venue for adults, so plays, operas, and ballets have always featured what were considered “adult themes.” (That phrase sounds quaint in light of today’s crude and sexualized society, does it not?)

A Friendly Battle of Men and Women


In which your itinerate correspondent stubbles onto the stage, and writes about ballet! Dance aficionados, perhaps even former corps de ballet members, are invited to pas de deux in the comments or stage a solo in reply on one of the several open days this month. Through the opening days of this month’s theme, “Men and Women,” it has variously been asserted that the relationship between the sexes is one of supremacy, of (zero-sum?) competition, or of complementarity. What follows is an illustration, perhaps an argument, of complementarity in a positive-sum competition.

On point, en pointe:

The Royal Opera House’s “Ballet Evolved” video series, illustrates on stage the evolution of ballet over the past four centuries. In the 1830s, a ballerina created an innovation in female dancers’ footwork. While the en pointe technique innovation drove a change in ballerina’s footwear, enabling more extreme development of the technique, men did not see a similarly radical change in technique.