Swan lake
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Swan lake






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    Swan lake Swan lake Presentation Transcript

    • SWAN LAKE Matthew Bourne 1995
    • Historical Overview of Swan Lake “Swan Lake has been re-staged, re-thought, re-choreographed, punched, pulled, twisted and generally mangled over the last one hundred years” (Brinson and Crisp, 1970, p.66) 1875- Score for Swan Lake commissioned and composed by Tchaikovsky 1877- 1st Performance of Swan Lake by Wenzel (Julius) Reisinger, Moscow- initially it was not well received 1894- Swan Lake revived by Lev Ivanov and Marius Petipa in Russia (This is the standard version known today) 1995- Matthew Bourne’s version was created- UK
    • Where does the Story originate?  The scenario, initially in four acts, was fashioned from Russian folk tales and tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse.  A collective of artists including Tchaikovsky developed the original plot  Previous works by Tchaikovsky influenced the Swan Lake narrative including the ‘The Snow Maiden’ 1873 which had the same characters. ‘Lake of Swans’ and ‘Undina’ a 3 act opera created in 1869. All the works explore the love between a mortal man and an immortal women.  The first performance of Swan Lake was by the Bolshoi Ballet in Russia  The Swans originally represented purity and innocence  Many Myths feature human beings disguised as swans or maidens turned into swans  Over the last 100 years the focus has shifted from the Swans to the Prince and every version ends in tragedy-love reunited only upon death  Swan Lake has been re-staged by every major Ballet company in the world today
    • Central Themes to discuss  Love The different depictions of love, relationships between characters, representation of desire, fantasy, escapism and longing  Death and immortality Death & Immortality are central themes in romantic and classic ballets. How are they conveyed in Bourne’s narrative?  Good vs. Bad Conflict and dichotomy of good vs. bad- between characters and the inner battle with oneself. The traditional depiction compared to Bourne’s updated version. Link to costume and colour-light/dark binaries. What is the tragedy of the story?
    • 5 examples  Using the constituent features give 5 examples of how each theme is communicated Love Good vs Bad Death and Immortality
    • Bourne’s treatment of the narrative  Bourne re-worked narrative using the original score as he wanted to use the entire score for continuity and challenge himself. He did not want his Swan Lake to feel disjointed.  Removed the names/titles to give the production a more universal feel-The Swan,The Queen and The Prince etc  Developed the role and influence of the Queen  Removed the evil sorcerer Rothbart and replaced him with the private secretary-Bourne wanted to remove the magic  Centered the narrative around the Prince and his search for love  And most profoundly switched the gender of the swans from female to male  Using males enabled Bourne to reinterpret the music entirely as previous scenes are so iconic that the music is lost to the dance ie Act II Pas De Deux
    • Treatment of the Swans  Bourne found the concept of dancer as swan exciting-inspired by the abstract possibilities  Bourne studied films, images and real Swans to see how they moved and understand their characteristics  Most influenced by Alfred Hitchcock’s film ‘The Birds’ and how he created suspense  Chose males instead of females to portray the swans natural power, aggression and violence  Easier to create new choreography with the sex change-male musculature lends itself well to enormous wingspan.
    • Treatment of the Royal Family  Bourne studied Royal Families over the last 150 years  Exploration of Royal Protocol  References to Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s relationship-the Royal family disapproved of her  Corgi’s are the Queen’s favourite dogs  Relationship between Royalty and celebrity in today’s culture.  The Prince’s rebellious behaviour echoes common teenager defiance  Swans themselves appear very regal at times  The use of body language and movement to depict complex relationships between monarch and heir
    • Contemporary context  In what ways has Bourne developed the work for a current contemporary audience? Watch clips of the original work on youtube to discuss
    • Style and Treatment  Universal feel sets the work anywhere between 1950’s and present day-think of examples  Use of multiple dance styles to tell story including classical Ballet  Adheres to classical structure of 4 actskeeping iconic scenes to the same sections of score-The Palace, The lake etc  Similarly to the classical version the dance shifts between reality and fantasy  Use of pastiche-celebrates rather than mocks the work/artists it imitates- find examples throughout….. think Elle Woods (Legally Blonde) as the girlfriend.
    • Style and treatment continued-Films & Pastiche  Reference to films-The Queens wig is the same as the bride in the horror film ‘Bride of Frankinstein’  The relationship between the Prince and Mother draws comparisons to MacMillians Ballet Mayerling and Shakespeare's Hamlet  Filmic style lighting references Hitchcock workcreation of tension and suspense  Swans movement echoes formations seen in ‘The Birds’ by Hitchcock  In creating the seedy club atmosphere Bourne drew upon images of notorious characters like the Kray Twins, Mandy Rice-Davies, Christine Keeler, Blues Brothers, and Barbara Windsor.  Reference to real places like st James Park opposite Buckingham Palace
    • Bourne’s creative process  Bourne began by listening to the score and devising a new narrative to follow it  The characters were cast before movement material was developed-Adam Cooper from the Royal Ballet was cast as The Swan  The costumes were designed at the same time as casting  Positions and poses from the 1st photo shoot formed the basic swan motifs  Material was created collaboratively through improvisation and investigation of character traits
    • Score-Pyotr llych Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)  Powerful Russian classical composer  Composed many Waltzes-Melodic  Composed The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty  He made Ballet music respectable Give examples of the aural setting in Swan Lake-The mood, power, atmosphere and relationship to the characters.
    • Costume- Lez Brotherston  Describe the costumes for the swans  Why do you think Brotherston made this choice for costume?
    • Costumes  How do costumes contribute to the dance work? Give examples
    • Essay questions  How do choreographers use difference dance styles to communicate ideas (20 marks)  How is structure significant in dance works (20 marks)  Compare how choreographers use the physical setting in dance (20 marks)  Compare choreographers use of aural setting to communicate meaning in dance (20 marks)