Opening night at the Paris Opera. (enlargement)
Imaginary event digitally created (heavily modified 19th century lithograph)
by Rebecca Alzofon.
A full-length ballet by Rebecca Alzofon
Why a Ballet?
Why would a painter write a full-length ballet?
Listening to music adds ideas for painting. It's been especially good for
the paintings about Nature's betrayal. One day I noticed that Beethoven's
The Creatures of Prometheus - had ideal elements for a set of paintings
I was making, so I wrote notes about each movement for later reference...
Because the music was composed for a ballet, The Creatures of Prometheus
- has a narrative quality; and because of my thematic motive, the notes
I took revealed a compelling story with a beginning, middle and end. I realized
that I had conceived an amazing ballet of great emotion and power. I shared
the vision with others, and they were stirred as well.
The ballet deserves a chance to be seen. But, one might ask, how could an
actual presentation be accomplished?
...In 1993, my ballet was formally presented to an international
You may wonder:
- What is the story in the ballet?
- How did it get presented to a world class ballet company?
- What's happened since?
These topics are the subject for further elaboration...
...And it is at this moment
that the most guarded and fragile
spirit of all Philemonia appears.
Her name is Harmony, and Jedermann
falls instantly in love with her. Now that he
is practiced she will dance with him, and
how they dance together! Alone she
demonstrates incomprehensible feats of
soulful balance. In his arms, she is
completely confident. Now we watch awhile
as we are transported to the farthest reaches
of joy and love for Nature's beauty.
But, wait. Could they be leaving?
The young man realizes Harmony is
withdrawing from the dance, as several
have already before her. Still, none have
actually left. In fact, they are all still here,
as here they have truly always been.
Harmony, knowing of Jedermann's love,
returns to show that she and her friends of
the enchanted forest will always be.
Sensing her special place in his heart, she
induces the others to join in a gracious
ceremonial promise of eternal love. In
turns, singly and in small groups, the spirits
offer their lovestruck dancer small gifts,
reminders of hope and fidelity, tender
tokens from their hearts - a piece of bark,
a stone, a thistle, flowers. Finally, the young
man stands holding his gifts as he watches
beautiful Harmony withdraw to the edge of
the clearing; always in view, they wistfully
wave to each other.
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"These spirits," the young man wonders.
"Are they in the forest when I'm not here?
Or do they appear only when I seek them?"
"Are these spirits actually me?"
Fully transformed, glowing in pure white
light, the enraptured young man closes his
eyes and presses his gifts to his face.
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More from the Threatened Landscape
Rebecca Alzofon can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
This site last updated: January 1, 1997