Starting from the modern male version of the classical ballet “Swan Lake”

In the western dance world, the most prestigious dance style is ballet. This dance form that originated in Italy, flourished in France and reached glory in Russia represents almost all the achievements of Western classical dance, and it is also the format and romance of classicism. The free and easy elegance of doctrine is the best expression in the art of dance. After entering the 20th century, with the influence of diversified thoughts brought about by modernization, dances such as jazz dance, street dance, and national standard dance have become more mature and occupy their own place in the dance world. Among them, the most shining is the classical ballet. Opposite modern dance. At this time, the ballet became high and low due to the stylized body movements and the limitations of expressing new ideas. Therefore, the diversified adaptation of classical ballet works was naturally put on the agenda. Modern dance, as a dance style that frees itself from the constraints of movement programs on the body, expresses its true temperament freely, and is literary and philosophical, represents the peak of dance development in the 20th century. It was created to counter the classical ballet system. Dial, so as to interpret classical dance more perfectly and express new ideas. Among them, the adaptation of the classic ballet masterpiece “Swan Lake” became the most shining spark in the 20th century adaptation boom. The male version of “Swan Lake”, directed by British choreographer Matthew Byrne, premiered in the UK in 1995 “It can be described as the most successful adaptation of modern dance works.

The classical ballet “Swan Lake”, a representative work of the Russian ballet school, was composed by Tchaikovsky and premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1877. However, due to the failure of the casting and the messy choreography, it caused a lot of criticism. Until 1895, two years after Tchaikovsky’s death, “Swan Lake”, choreographed by “Father of Classical Ballet” Petipa and his partner Liu Ivanov, was re-staged at the Maria Theatre in Petersburg. , It won the honor it deserves. The dance music and choreography that highlight the symphonic characteristics, the extremely high difficulty of the dance, and the typical Russian-style glorious atmosphere created by the entire dance drama make “Swan Lake” an epoch-making dance drama. For more than 100 years, almost all famous dance companies in the world have been proud of performing “Swan Lake”.

The plot of “Swan Lake” is based on the fairy tale “Swan Pond” by Muteius, a German folktale collector, but the original story line has been completely deleted. In “Swan Lake”, when Prince Siegfried was worried about choosing a bride in the coming-of-age ceremony the next day, he met the princess Odette who was cursed by the devil Rothbart by the lake at night. He all the girls, they are swans during the day, and turn back into human forms at night. Odette told the prince that only by gaining true love can the curse be lifted. Siegfried then invited her to the next day’s ball to be engaged to herself. Unexpectedly, at the ball, the demon lord’s daughter Augustia confused the prince. When the prince woke up and rushed to the lake, the demon was about to kill him. Odette sacrificed herself to save the prince, and the prince died together after defeating the demon. . In the various versions staged after the dance drama, there is also a happy ending in which the prince and the princess are resurrected after being sacrificed in love.

Choosing the image of a swan as the center of the script and using a swan to express the image of a girl is an authentic Russian tradition. The white swan is a symbol of purity, nobility and beauty. In the “Collection of Russian Folktales” written by Afanasyev, there is also such a story: girls imprisoned by magic and their beloved young people make a pledge each other, and once the young people change their hearts, they fly to the window to remind them, If he breaks his oath, his happiness will be destroyed. The opera “The Story of King Satan” adapted from Pushkin’s fairy tale poems also designed a plot in which the Swan Princess was threatened by a fierce kite and turned to the prince for help. In addition, the loyal white swan also conforms to the classical ballet’s design of female images. Classical ballet actresses need to maintain a noble and rational image forever, and must become elves with “thin breasts, narrow hips, and flat belly”, and the white and flawless swan with neck and wings spreading is consistent with the image requirements of the ballerina Bing Qing Yujie. Since the 19th century, romantic aesthetics have emerged. The swan, especially the white swan, more symbolizes an image of femininity, loneliness, and melancholy. For example, the famous cello song “Swan” of Saint-Saëns portrays an elegant elf swimming in the sparkling water; another example is Baudelaire’s poem “Swan” which states: “Stretching a convulsive neck several times, Raise your longing head and look at the terribly blue, merciless sky, just like the character in Ovid’s poem, spitting out his curse to God!” In addition, the swan also has a heroic characteristic, but such a hero It appears as a tragic image of loneliness and resistance, looking slender and weak. Odette in “Swan Lake” is pure and beautiful, but she is very sad because of an insoluble curse. There is always a layer of gloom on her brows, even after falling in love with the prince, the corners of her mouth Shang still didn’t show any smiles. Such a bitter and noble feminine image contains the aesthetic characteristics of romanticism and modernism since the 19th century.

The male version of the modern dance drama “Swan Lake” has created a completely different image of the swan. The work follows Tchaikovsky’s music and the classical four-act drama structure and story development context, but it tells a completely different story. The story is set in the modern British royal family. The prince has lived a lonely life without a father since he was a child. Not only does the mother give him no care at all, but also has a strong desire to control. The prince, who could not get the slightest tenderness from his mother, pinned his hopes on his toy swan all day long. When the prince became an adult, he wanted to experience the life of ordinary people, but was cheated out of the money in the bar. He also found out that there was a collusion of interests between his girlfriend and the housekeeper. Frustrated, the prince was about to go to the river to end his life. At this time, he had hallucinations, saw the real white swan, and gained spiritual relief. At a dinner in the palace the next day, a swinger who looked exactly like a white swan suddenly broke in and tried to seduce his mother. After trying to seduce his mother, the disillusioned prince pulled out a pistol and killed the female guest by mistake. Die desolately. Finally, in the dream, the white swan who was pecked to save the prince ascended to heaven with the prince in his arms.

The white swan in the male version of the dance drama has become a masculine image. The image of this male swan does not belong to the aesthetic tradition of the 19th century, but is derived from the ancient Greek mythology where Zeus turned into a swan, and made friends with the girl Lida and gave birth to the swan. The story of the egg. The male swan represents a kind of masculine beauty, a kind of natural divinity and fertility. Wagner’s famous opera “Rohengrin” is adapted from medieval myths and legends, which also contains a male swan knight who symbolizes justice and light. If the female swan has an inherent weakness, timidity, arrogance, and fear of being close to others, then the male swan is like the brilliance of the sun, willing to illuminate everyone and make others spiritually sublimated. Therefore, in the male version of “Swan Lake”, the male swan is exposed to the upper body, showing the texture of the muscles through the transformation of various movements, highlighting the beauty of strength.

In the classical ballet “Swan Lake”, the most frequent movement is probably the white swan’s infinite transformation of arabesque dance-this is a half-squatting or standing upright with one leg, and the other leg is stretched back at right angles to the supporting leg. The posture of the arm corresponding to this constitutes the longest straight line from the fingertip to the toe, showing the golden balance of the human body to the fullest. Therefore, classical ballet “strives to pursue order and balance, dance for the sake of dance, and sublimate difficult techniques to stunning glory.” Although the male version of “Swan Lake” is a modern dance drama, the protagonists are all actors from the Royal Ballet. Their body movements are more elegant, stretched, and noble, and they are closer to the role settings of swan and royal family members. At the same time, modern dance vowed to break the strict requirements of classical ballet for the “open and upright” of the body, and replace it with body forms such as relaxation, curling, and distortion. It can be said that traditional ballet represents the holistic spirit of classicism, while modern dance represents the individual rebellion of modernism and postmodernism.

The male version of “Swan Lake” changed the costumes to evening gowns in order to meet the modern story background. Modern social objects such as bars, pistols, bubble gum, paparazzi appeared, but the roles of prince, white swan, black swan, mother queen, and devil The attributes have not changed much. The only difference is that the male version reverses the attributes of the prince and the swan: in the original version, the swan princess is the object to be saved, and the prince represents true love and light; in the new version, the white swan saves loneliness Prince. It can be seen from this that the change in the plot from classical ballet to modern dance “Swan Lake” is actually a change from a god-centered to a human-centered. Classical ballet, as a stylized and freehand stage form, is more suitable for expressing a theme of divinity and escapism, dedicated to telling beautiful and dreamy fairy tales; while modern dance works are based on the theme of expressing human thoughts and confusion. It is a narrative stage form, whose purpose is to touch the soul of people through the interpretation of the work, and it is thought-provoking. Therefore, in the male version of “Swan Lake”, the choreographer expresses a topic worth pondering through the story that the prince wants to find ideals and beliefs in the swan, and expresses a topic worth pondering-in modern society, can alienated people find new Back to yourself.

In addition, the male version of “Swan Lake” has many innovations compared to the traditional version. For example, the prince’s dream appears most often in the play. According to Freud’s theory, dreams are the tortuous expression of subconscious desires and another satisfaction of suppressed desires. Four dreams or hallucinations appeared on the stage. The first time was when the young prince dreamed of a white swan, which symbolized the prince’s desire to be protected due to lack of maternal love; the second time was the illusion produced by the prince before committing suicide, expressing the prince The yearning for masculinity and freedom; the third time was when the black swan seduced her mother when the prince imagined himself being laughed at by outsiders, implied that the cruel reality had broken the prince’s fictional balance; the fourth time was when the prince was actually dying In the previous fantasy of the swan, he constructed a scene of the white swan fighting against evil forces to save himself in the chaotic dream, and thus sacrificed. In the end, the white swan and the prince ascended to heaven together. The whole picture is peaceful and solemn, symbolizing death. It is the best relief for the prince.

Commercialization and the addition of other dance elements make the male version of “Swan Lake” both artistic and popular aesthetic appeal. In the choreography, in addition to the perfect choreography of modern dance, there are other popular dances. For example, the most famous section-the black swan pas de deux, uses the elements of national standard and break dance; the black swan uses romantic and gorgeous waltz when seducing the queen; the black swan and the prince’s pas de deux chooses tango to reflect the state of the game of the two. And psychological entanglement. In the traditional version, the 32 whiplashes of the black swan are the most commendable-after winning the heart of the prince, accompanied by cheerful music, the black swan declares its sovereignty in a crazy way. In the new version, when the queen accepted the black swan’s courtship, the black swan led a group of guests to perform a break dance with violent leg shaking, which set off the climax of the ball and showed its dominance.

Regarding the adaptation of “Swan Lake”, there were many innovative versions in later generations, especially in the 1990s, and they were widely recognized. American modern ballet master John Neumière put the background of this ballet in a ballet academy, turning “Swan Lake” into a play in the play, and the image of the ballet actresses is based on the French impressionist painter Degas The image in the pen is not ecstatic but exhausted, to show the pain of dancers in the real world. Subsequently, Neumiere launched his own new version of “Swan Lake”, in which Prince Siegfried reminded people of the Ludwig King of Bavaria who was obsessed with swans. When British modern ballet choreographer Peter Darrell re-edited “Swan Lake”, in order to intensify the drama, the traditional plot of the girl being turned into a swan by the devil was turned into insecure young aristocrats who had daydreams and hallucinations due to opium smoking. Scene. The Oscar-winning film “Black Swan” (2010) started with the actress who played the white swan and showed her crazy mental journey in pursuit of perfect interpretation. What needs to be explained is that no matter whether these dance dramas are presented in the form of ballet or modern dance, their core is modernity, which is a withdrawal and backwash from the original story. Since the 20th century, modernism and postmodernism have successively occupied the art stage. Dance drama has also shifted from admiration of form to exploration of inner spirit, focusing on psychological analysis and value deconstruction. It can be said that most of the adapted versions of modern dance dramas embody the release of a primitive desire. Their main purpose is to develop the hesitation and loss of modern and modern people, and to discover and explore the human nature that is suppressed in modern society and tends to be alienated.