Cheree R. Knight
Re-staging is done by studying a particular film of dance and teaching it exactly as it is done on the film for performance. A choreographer will usually teach the dance by following the film frame by frame. Permission from the choreographer (of the original work) or the choreographer’s dance master is needed for re-staging works. Creating adaptations from literature and film are perhaps more challenging for the teacher. Here, teacher and students must read literature thoroughly and study film—where applicable. Finally, the teacher must create original works to fit the literature/film.
A. Re-staging Ballets
There is a large array of dance pieces on film which may be used for the purposes of re-staging; ie. “Romeo and Juliet”, “Othello”, “West Side Story”, “Cinderella”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “The Nutcracker”, “Firebird”, “Swan Lake”, etc. I have provided a film/video bibliography at the end of the unit which teachers may find helpful. I recommend that re-staging be done by teachers with students of advanced technique/discipline.
B. Creating Original Works
The traditional fairytale ballets which have been staged and performed for years, some dating back to the 1800’s, may be used as inspirations for new works. It is interesting to see up-dated versions in order to understand and appreciate where the dance has come from as well as the direction in which it is going. As cinema is used as a medium to re-establish the older cinematic works, so should dance be for the traditional tales.