Here’s all I knew about The Bright Stream going in:
(mostly from Homan’s Apollo’s Angels, btw. That book is rad, btw.)
Music by Shostakovitch, choreography by Lupukhov, The Bright Stream was well received when it opened in 1935 in Leningrad. But Stalin, who was a moody som-bitch, interpreted light-hearted romance and mistaken identity funny-bidness as an insult to the honor and simple nobility of the Good Communist Worker. So the Pravda, which was the official party newspaper, totally ripped on The Bright Stream, even calling the score “Lumpen-Musik”, which is really a phrase the Adult Beginner needs to incorporate more into daily life.
Lumpen-Kostume! Lumpen-Koffee! Etc!
So the choreography was lost.
See, this is the crazy thing about ballet: unlike music, it’s not written down. Or at least there’s no universally accepted or successful method. They stopped performing, no one passed the steps along to younger dancers, so the choreo just went poof.
Until Alexei Ratmansky made new choreography with the American Ballet Theatre.
Ok Blah blah blah history whatever-
Important thing is-
There is a man in a tutu.
And it is high-larious.
And it feels really good to not be the only one laughing at the ballet! You can lol at this one!
Very smart of ABT. Like they’re saying, yeah, ballet is glorious, here’s your Swan Lake, but it can also express the goofy, here’s some Bright Stream for ya, how ya like ballet now!
Daniil Simkin was the man-in-a-tutu, and Gentle Reader, I was very curious to see him perform,
A while back Henrik of Tights&Tiaras did a really great guest post here, and Daniil Simkin commented.
And I just thought, oh that’s nice, he commented on Henrik’s post, that Daniil seems like a Good Guy.
And then kind of moved on with my day until people started to Freak The Fuck Out. I was getting dm’s on twitter, comments, it was all Oh my gawd oh my gawd omy gawd oh gawdohmygawdDaniilohmygawdlookedatyourblogohmygawd!
And I was all like, hmm, apparently I’m not recognizing the gravity of this situation. Is this like if Johnny Depp did a guest-post and Justin Timberlake commented? Would I flip the fuck out? I’m not even sure!
But, hey: Johnny Depp and Justin Timberlake, you guys are totally welcome to leave a comment here and I’ll get back you.
Reminded me of the time Salma Hayek came in for a fitting, but the director hadn’t arrived yet, so she just wandered into the break room where the stitcher-ladies were having their coffee and she was all, “Hola muchachas!” and they were all, “Que pasa? Sit down, have some bread and cheese!” And they were all having a good old time sharing break time treats with Salma Hayek except for that one stitcher, who we call Crazy Louise, who just could not wrap her head around Salma Hayek being there. She kept going, “Y’all! It’s Salma! Salma, y’all! Y’all! Salma y’all!!!” and we’d be like, “yeah, Louise, we see her. She can see you too. And hear you. Try to be cool, HoneyBunny. We cool here? We cool?”
And days later she was still, “y’all!?!?! Salma!”
You wanna see him in Bright Stream.
Really good and really funny.
En pointe, all Giselled-up in a long romantic tutu. Did this one series of side-split jumps in the air, each higher and higher in the air, with his legs further and further apart to the sides, so hilariously masculine and crass and utterly un-ladylike. In a tutu. I was howling. I mean, the man is obviously a million times more graceful than The Adult Beginner, and there he was doing a stellar job of Hulking About.
Go see it.
You might die of laughing though, so be careful.
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