Thursday, December 3, 2009

Matchgirl Ballet


Next week is Little Match Girl week on SurLaLune, but since this is performed this Friday and Saturday by Columbus Dance Theatre, I am offering a preview:

From Ballet goes step beyond classic seasonal fairy tale by Bill Mayr:

The Little Match Girl centers on a poor girl sent out on the street by her harsh father to sell matches on New Year's Eve.

"She's very cold, so she starts to strike matches," Veach explained. "Each time she strikes a match, she has a vision -- a vision of a warm fire, a vision of a banquet where the food comes to life. She has a vision of her grandmother, who is dead, who takes her away to heaven."

The end of the story, Veach noted, is very sad: "People ignored her, and she dies in the cold. But her grandmother takes her away."

That ending, though, serves as the first act of Veach's ballet.

In the second act -- which "looks very different," he said -- the girl arrives in paradise.

"Costumes and scenery are time-nebulous because there is no time in paradise," he said. "All the people on earth who treated her badly dance for her. And she forgives them."

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