Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gay Swan Lake

One of Tchaikovsky's most famous works is the score to the ballet Swan Lake. In 1995, British dancer and choreographer Matthew Bourne staged a startlingly new interpretation featuring all male swans. His version is now unofficially known as Gay Swan Lake. I can't help but think that Tchaikovsky would have loved the homoerotic pas de deux of love and seduction between the Prince and the lead Swan --



This ballet also enjoys a moment of glory in the final scene of the movie Billy Elliot, when Billy's father and childhood friends come to see him dance professionally. The movie ends with Billy leaping onto the stage as Matthew Bourne's lead Swan. When I first saw the movie, I had no idea that the reference was to Gay Swan Lake so all I could think was, "WTF? What is with that ugly makeup and feather pants?" (If you want to see the final scene, click here.)

20 comments:

Little Messy Missy said...

I have that movie in my netflix que...I should really go watch it. :o)

mxtodis123 said...

Haven't seen it. Don't see many movies, but enjoyed the final scene.
Mary

Francie said...

Beautiful.

Jeanne said...

Gotta love them pants! :0)

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i have to watch that movie again. this was great! thanks so much!

Willym said...

Great minds.. you and I are both on a bit of a swan kick today! Have missed seeing the Bourne Swan Lake twice now and was trying to get to see his Cinderella this week but moving got in the way. Thanks for posting this - a wonderful piece of choreography.

Cute my verification word is: ballogr ballo being Italian for Ballet or dance!!!!

Rue said...

*sniff*

I always get weepy when I see ballet for some reason. This was beautiful!

Mercurio said...

that bring a new meaning to that ballet

Crystalrainbow said...

I loved Billy Elliot i must sit down and watch it again :)

My Grama's Soul said...

I'll put Billy Eliot in my que.

Jo

Kathy said...

I love Swan Lake AND Tchaikovsky though I never knew he was gay. I'd love to see Gay Swan Lake as well because it makes sense now.

LauraX said...

I loved Billy Elliot, filled with pain and beauty, courage, growth! This dance company is beautiful...so fluid!

Suzie said...

Perhaps that was the way that Tchaikovsky envisioned it. Gay Swan Lake seems more emotional, more dramatic, and more powerful, while retaining the expressive beauty. It is breathtaking.

I loved the movie Billy Elliot, but selfishly, didn't like the ending. .oh, it was very powerful left the way that it ends, and conveys the message, but I wanted to see him dance! lol

Elton John's award winning Broadway show by the same name is now on tour, performing in California. I wanted to see it when it was in Chicago, but was unable to go, darn it.

Sarita Rucker said...

My exact words when I finished that video clip: "Oh wow."

I think I like Gay Swan Lake. :)

And it's so neat that they were both picking each other up. That's not something they would do if the swan were played by a woman.

Now I need to watch Swan Lake...it's a ballet that I haven't seen.

Zeba said...

Wow.

mistress maddie said...

I never knew this either! I guess you learn something new everyday!

RaShelle said...

Huh, I'll have to check it out.

LasseEA said...

Ballet is really beautiful :)!

LasseEA said...

I follow this blog :)

Her Speak said...

The set design is InFREAKINcredible. Thanks for sharing this--posting to face book in t-minus NOW. :)