Surprising Ballet Adaptations (Plus 1 Bonus Opera One)
Most people can name the classic ballets that are danced across stages and screened into cinemas across the world. The Nutcracker, Cinderella and Giselle will spring to mind when ballet is mentioned in conversation. However, there are also a few surprising ballet adaptations that people may not be aware of. Here we list a few that have converted famous stories into dance:
1. The Handmaid's Tale
A well regarded dystopian tome, and currently a harrowing and award-winning series gracing our TV screens, people may be surprised to know that A Handmaid's Tale has also been turned into a ballet. A project 8 years in the works and connected to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights - we certainly think it would be fascinating to experience the emotional and moving plight of the Handmaids in dance.
There have been a few adaptations of the famous vampire tale of Dracula. Usually performed around Halloween, the most famous ballet version was created in 1997 by Michael Pink and Christopher Gable to celebrate the centenary of the novel's publication. Enjoying a cult status and dubbed the “Rocky Horror Show” of ballet, it's been recently announced as part of The Northern Ballet's repertoire for October 2019, so get your fangs ready!
3. The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic American novel has been given a lavish ballet treatment too. A colourful homage to 1920s fashion music and dance, with a cinematic score by Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, this has been a firm favourite from the Northern Ballet for some time now. Although it's a scorning and tragic tale of the decadence of the era, the famous Jay Gatsby's parties are a true treat to see on stage.
4. The Merry Widow
Our very own The Merry Widow also deserves a special mention, with screenings starting this evening! An adaptation of Franz Lehár's romantic operatta Die Lustige Witwe, the ballet version was first choreographed by Ronald Hynd for The Australian Ballet in 1975. Full of fantastic costumes and fizzy champagne and set in the ballrooms of Belle Époque, this romantic tale is a real crowd pleaser!
5. Anna Nicole Smith