Love is one of the great subjects of performing arts, being the loving encounters and disagreements the main driving force of many pieces. In opera, the tragic end of lovers is more standardized, but in ballet happens rather a celebration of love, the dances between couples request compromise of both interpreters and mutual support that is necessary to impress the crowd, giving examples of love and partnership. Nevertheless, there is also occasions where selfishness triumphs over love and everything turns into shadows.
On this Valentine’s Day we review four ballets where love works its magic.
Eugenio and Olga dance like two lovers delivered to passion, Tatiana suffers and collapses like all her world; then, the illusion of Olga disappears, and Eugenio crosses the mirror frame to dance with Tatiana, who is floating for joy in his lover’s arms
Perhaps one of the most famous pieces of ballet, has the musical composition of Tchaikovsky and a wide repertoire of adaptations and references in the world of cinema. In this story Prince Siegfried must choose a wife at a dance, but before he meets Princess Odette, who spends his days turned into a white swan by the curse of the evil Rothbart. The spell can only be broken if someone who has never loved promises love forever. The movements of birds that the dancers adopt make the illusion of the credible metamorphosis to touching levels. Everything becomes complicated when the dance is celebrated and Odile, the daughter of Rothbart, assists transformed by her father’s magic into an Odette twin, with only one difference: Odile wears black. If love triumphs or succumbs to ill-intentioned magic depends on the version that is mounted, because the end has been reinterpreted multiple times.
The story of the maiden who is forced by her stepmother and her stepsisters to clean the house until it is so covered with ash that everyone calls it Cinderella is well known, since the animated adaptation that Disney made in 1950. In the last version that mounted the Municipal Theater of Santiago the two sisters more than a role of ugly and envious, had jocular roles for their clumsiness and tear. The stepmother, on the other hand, maintains her cold severity with the daughter of her late husband. Magic and dancing also play a role in the love of the protagonists, since it is the fairy godmother who allows Cinderella to change her clothes to attend the royal dance where the prince will choose a partner. Can you recognize it without luxurious dresses? And if he recognizes her, will he be able to love a commoner? They say that love can do everything.
Here love hurts. Also with music by Tchaikovsky, in this ballet piece we see the sisters Olga and Tatiana facing the wishes of the young friends Lenski and Eugenio. Lenski is engaged to Olga, the youngest of the sisters, while Tatiana immediately falls in love with Eugenio, who rejects her and on a whim decides to woo her friend’s fiancée. When Tatiana sleeps the mirror on the wall of her room becomes a portal, on the other side Eugenio and Olga dance like two lovers given to passion, she suffers and collapses like all her world; then, Olga’s illusion disappears, and Onegin crosses the frame of the mirror to dance with Tatiana, who floats in joy in the arms of her beloved. What will happen when Tatiana wakes up? Will Onegin regret to court Olga when Lenski challenges him to a duel? There are loves that hurt and Eugenio Onegin reminds us that it is better not to play with the feelings of others.
The Merry Widow
To close, a love that causes laughter, except that it is not a single love and it is not laughter, but laughter. The Merry Widow is a picaresque comedy where lovers find the most unusual excuses to meet, even in the noses of their legal spouses. Here the love mocks everything and the rejoicing of the lover triumphs to different adversities because nobody should be deprived of being in the arms of the person who loves, smiling, enjoying. A rich inheritance in between generates the intrigue of whether the widow is courted for love or for her fortune, but the nights of dancing and flirting channel the adventures of those involved for good.