21st april 2005
pierrot fch avec la lune

When I think of the differing forms and styles of western classical music drama, the one which least appeals to me is ballet.
In fact, I don't like ballet at all.
The mannered gestures, the set-piece moves, the strain to express an emotion through movement and posture which when expressed is frankly embarrassing (and flamenco? dear god, don't get me started on flamenco) all leave me wishing I was somewhere else.
But then. Listening to Debussy's Cello Sonata with its clown and moon subtitle, I think what a great ballet I could make of this. A simple set: a marble terrace and balustrade, shadows of leaves; one dancer, the pierrot, in his Jean-Louis Barrault skullcap; low chalky lunar lighting: all this fits perfectly with the growl of the cello and the piano pastels. I can see the whole thing in my head, down to the final tableau at centre stage as the last quick chords bring darkness. It'd be one of the standards of the solo repertoire, my version: the parallel universe in which it's my first performed, accoladed work as a choreographer is out there somewhere, unravelling into nothing.
But if it was on next week, at the South Bank or whatever, I wouldn't go.
It's ballet.
I don't really like it.

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