Scantily-clad ballet dancers? Okay!
Casanova’s life has been depicted as numerous films, TV dramas, graphic novels, fiction, and cartoons. The latest–a ballet.
Check out the website here: Casanova by Northern Ballet
There’s a trailer, behind the scenes video, some stills shots, and more, and finally the plot outline.
Choreographer Kenneth Tindall has taken parts of C’s life and created a new narrative in dance. As someone who has spent years reading and writing about Casanova, my first reaction is annoyance that they’ve taken such liberties with C’s story. The website outlines the ballet’s plot, and, while principle characters and some events are true, great liberties are fabricated. So the purist in me rebels.
But the dancers and costumes and scenes look so lush and sexy, that it’s hard to not be pulled toward them. Besides, what is art if it is not about creation? Tindall was inspired by C’s life and used it as a starting point to create his own work of art. In this podcast where he is interviewed, he shows his admiration for Casanova, particularly pointing out that Casanova was about so much more than just seduction (though the ballet website’s images only promote the sexy part). In fact, the ballet ends with Casanova yearning to pursue writing.
Here’s a link to the podcast. The first 20 minutes is about Tindall himself and his start as a dancer; if you wish to hear just about the Casanova ballet, skip ahead to 19:05.
Kenneth Tindall also talks about working with Ian Kelly, who wrote the biography titled Casanova: Actor, Lover, Priest, Spy. Tindall initially only knew of Casanova as the great seducer, which is where most people’s knowledge ends. He then learned C’s full story and became fascinated by the man, the times, and the place, which he tries to bring to life through dance.
How I wish I could see the production in person! It premieres in March and runs through May. I’m pretty sure there’s no way I can get there to see it, given the cost of a plane ticket and my limited time off from work during that period. Those of you who do go, please write and tell me what you think. I’d also love to hear from you all about your opinions regarding the creative process of art–Is it okay to take a real life and deviate so drastically from the facts? What is gained and what is lost? Should we all be purists or should we sometimes shut off that voice and let a different part of us take over?
Thanks to my friend Linda for telling me about the podcast.