UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN
MARILIA ROSSETTO COSTA
MARILIA ROSSETTO COSTA
Name: Marilia Rossetto Costa
Student Number: CSTMAR010
Western Dance Musicology 1
Lecturer: Danie Fourie
Due Date: 09/11/2012
The focus on this paperis an analyses of the ballet Giselle, ou Les Wilis; originally choreographed by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, having its premiere in 1841, and music by Adolphe Adam. The ballet is about a peasant girl with a weak heart and a passion for dancing, who becomes engaged to a man she believes to be a peasant as well, only to discover that he is, in fact, Duke Albrecht, and engaged to someone else.Giselle goes mad and dies of a broken heart. In the second act the scene shifts to a forest haunted by Wilis, the spirits of young women who died before their wedding day and spent eternity dancing from midnight to dawn, killing any man who happens to cross their way. Myrtha, the Queen of the Wilis, summons Giselle from her grave in order to initiate her into the community. A despondent Albrecht comesto pay his respects at Giselle’s grave, and is almost killed, but with Giselle’s intervention, his life is saved, and Giselle rests in peace (Pennsylvania Ballet, 2012).
By empirically examining this ballet, we hope to produce a more complete understanding of the score written, intrinsically related to the choreography and the particular period and style in the history describing the Romanticismand the Romantic Ballet Giselle, the music of Giselle: Adolphe Adam’s Score, and Giselle’s Choreography Accompanying the Music Score.
Romanticism and the Romantic Ballet Giselle
Giselle is a romantic ballet choreographed by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot. Adolphe Adam beautifully composes the music. This ballet was originally performed in Paris in 1841. Giselle isone of the last ballets of the Romantic era.
The "Romantic Movement" dominated the arts of Europe during the first half of the 19th century. New social classes where appearing in society and new ideas from the French Revolution were showing their potent effect on people’s mind. Art was in serious need of reform, and classicist artists were often paying more attention to the shape of their workthan to its content; even with their perfect technique, their work tended to be cold and lifeless. The Romantic movement comes to break this obsession, questioning the academic rules of the past; they started to seek a new source of inspiration - a fresher one - where they could express themselves in different ways, where they could express their feelings in their works, making each form of artfull of emotions and warmth. Going against the intellectual order and rigidity of the classicism, the romantic artists printed more emphasis on imagination, originality and individual expression, through which they could reach the sublime and brilliant, moving away from classic themes to the inclusion of more local color, supernatural beings and melodrama.
Another significant change in theRomantic Ballet is the emergence of the librettist - great names of literature of that time wrote compositions for ballet. Much of the illusion produced in ballet was initiated by the creativity of the librettist, who relied on a literary scheme. In general, ballet has made remarkable achievements in terms of spectacle, especially with the progress of the design of scenarios and lighting. Specialeffects and even the exotica began to emerge on the scene. It was possible to recreate mysterious places, dancers in flight and characters that appeared and disappeared, causing a stir in the audience.
Ballet became a powerful source of inspiration and illusion, and the simultaneous development of all its components - music, scenery, costumes, and dramatic content - made it a real expression of the...
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