`Arthur': Bintley Finishes Dark Rendering of Camelot

By Willis, Margaret | Dance Magazine, August 2001 | Go to article overview

`Arthur': Bintley Finishes Dark Rendering of Camelot


Willis, Margaret, Dance Magazine


`ARTHUR': BINTLEY FINISHES DARK RENDERING OF CAMELOT

BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET SADLER'S WELLS THEATRE LONDON, ENGLAND, U.K. MAY 8, 2001

Remember how hard it was to go back into the water after seeing Jaws? Well, after the vivid scenes of rape, torture, grueling childbirth, and grotesque progeny in the ballet Arthur, Part I (see Reviews, Dance Magazine, April 2000, page 79), it was challenging to return to the second (and thankfully last) part of this story of Camelot (a very far cry from that of the saccharine-sweet Hollywood musical). Within moments of curtain-up on Arthur, Part II, there were chilling scenes of child slaughter and a rape--all historically accurate, but a bitter pill to swallow all the same. This ballet/play (very Shakespearean in its anarchy, war-mongering, and gore) related the breakup and complete destruction of Arthur's utopian vision of an idyllic, peaceful kingdom. The sorcery of his half-sister, the adultery of his wife and best friend, and his incestuously conceived son who becomes his nemesis all play their part in its, and his, doom.

As with Part I, Birmingham Royal Ballet director/choreographer David Bintley thoroughly researched the era's history. He tells his tale in graphic detail, using short, action-packed scenes--so filled, in fact, that audiences fell silent before the start and again at intermission, while they crammed on the program notes! However, his diligence paid off, as the ballet left strong impressions and evoked admiration for his handling of the gritty epic.

His choreography gave the company's male dancers many opportunities to show off their muscularity and strength in true Soviet-style bravura, either as knights or as Arthur's three frolicking country nephews. There was a huge Spartacus-like battle scene in Act II, complete with plumed Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, who prance energetically in and out of the carnage. And two armored knights with slit-eyed helmets lashed out at each other with leaden swords (carefully shadowed by other dancers to make sure they didn't fall off the stage).

There were also reminders of the Romeo and Juliet ballet, when Margause, Arthur's sister, had histrionics h la Lady Capulet over the body of her son Gareth, whose dying moments lingered like Mercutio's. Queen Guinevere and her pink-tarlatan-dressed maidens employed true classical ballet technique as they daintily gathered hawthorn blossoms in the woods. Bintley created a fluid and graceful pas de deux for Guinevere and Lancelot (the elegant Wolfgang Stollwitzer), filled with deep lunges, challenging high lifts, and passionate but tender couplings. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

`Arthur': Bintley Finishes Dark Rendering of Camelot
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.