廣告 Ad

dancealliance3.gif

[中][Eng]古典芭蕾舞為何古典?What is Classical about Classical Ballet?

(英文原文刊於2000年《舞蹈手札》2000年第二冊第六、七、八期

Originally published on dance journal/hk 2-6, 2-7 and 2-8 in 2000)

前言 在現代西方社會中,古典芭蕾舞一詞會令人想起一些特定的模式化影象。穿著白色芭蕾舞短裙、肢體精緻的芭蕾舞員以腳趾垂直站立的形象,也許是最強烈的一個,凝聚了我們對這個名詞的理解。本文探索古典芭蕾舞,以找出這種影像和舞蹈風格的起源、其識別特徵,以及其顯性和隱含的意思,並在最後找出是什麼使這種風格成為「古典」。

討論任何形式的舞蹈時,要面對的第一個任務,是嘗試為關鍵字詞提供有效的定義。其中最基本的應該是「舞蹈」一詞。在種種的定義之中,一項特別有用的是由人類學家Joann Kealiinohomoku提出:

「舞蹈是種一瞬即逝的表達方式,以人體活動在空間中以特定的形式和風格作出表演。它透過有目的地選擇並控制的節奏性動作而產生;由此得出的現像,被表演者和特定的一群觀察者都視為舞蹈。」1

這個定義是客觀冰冷的,不能識別出舞蹈與音樂之間的關係,或提及舞蹈的「表達」潛力。但是,最令我感興趣的是其中兩點:舞蹈是人類的活動,以及表演者和觀察者都將這種活動視為舞蹈。

古典芭蕾舞劇是西方世界的產物,因為我們可以清楚地看到,古典芭蕾舞劇的特徵以及其一直維持的意義,是對西方社會傳統、信仰和美學價值的肯定。像所有舞蹈一樣,古典芭蕾舞是民族舞蹈的一種形式,但通常被稱為劇場或藝術舞蹈。自從「芭蕾舞」這個類型在歐洲宮廷中誕生,到「古典芭蕾舞」風格的發展,再到今天,其主要功能一直是給觀眾看的劇場表演。古典古代的權威對舞蹈的發展影響很大,儘管那是發生在不同的脈絡中,而意義也有改變。芭蕾舞這舞蹈類型只有很少數長於解說的有識之士來指導其發展, 而現存的一些公式和原始理論都可以說是接受古典古代傳下來的觀點。同樣從這個體系發展而來的其他藝術形式,都受益於保存下來的一些有形之物,例如詩歌、原始文本、雕塑等,可以用來檢驗理論對實踐的影響。舞蹈受限於缺乏歷史記錄,所以其學術研究和文獻記錄相對於其他藝術形式而言相對較少。因為這樣,我只能從現有參考資料中,推想一些真實表演過的舞蹈之性質、種類、效果、手法和技巧。 在此,需要簡單定義源於古希臘人的古典理論,以作為本文稍後提出的解釋的參考。作為藝術運動的古典主義,其概念是一個重要而複雜的課題。我嘗試分離出當中的一些關鍵部份,來把其基本理論具體化。然而,這將不可避免地過分簡化了這個本身是一個整體的運動。

古典一詞,源自我們對羅馬帝國(公元2至4世紀)中要繳稅並有投票權的「第一階層公民」的認識。與「第一階層公民」連繫起來,古典一詞用於文學和其他藝術,以表示它們的價值是最佳、最優秀或非常重要的。這些公民有著悠久而著名的家庭血統,這加強了古典藝術具有長久的影響力和價值的看法。與藝術有關的「古典」一詞,我們普遍理解是希臘古典古代的內斂風格--一種經長期確立,嚴肅而傳統的風格。支持這種風格的是一些規則;這些規被視作為製作優秀藝術品的公式,要求藝術是簡單、和諧、勻稱和完整的。

古典主義的概念是經歷不同歷史過程而豎立,有必要以描述代替確切的定義。文化習慣或運動的名稱都嘗試綜合一些已完成之事的精神,從而把不同的運動區分;古典運動與浪漫運動的區分,便是其中一個例子。在把「古典」一詞應用於藝術時,舞蹈理論家約翰˙馬丁(John Martin)發現不少於六種含義:

「……可能與古希臘或羅馬相關,可以是另一個時期而得以留存下來(通常是在教室)的作品;它可以根據特定和模式化的形式規條(rules of forms)組編而成;它可以使用標準並編纂了的詞彙;它可以以在設計上是冷靜、樸素和平衡的一種風格來表達;或者,它可以只是那些即時而廉價的潮流範圍之外的東西。」2

古希臘人的思想啟發了古典一詞。我們可以從其文化精神的簡要認識中,看到古希臘人的思想,並以舞蹈作為我的重點,不僅因為它是這項研究的核心,更是由於古希臘人對舞蹈的思考,反映了他們對普遍的生命所倡導的規則和方法。20世紀希臘舞蹈史學家Ruby Ginner,在《通往舞蹈的大門》一書中寫道,希臘人將舞蹈發展到了「……非比尋常的程度,並在其中找到了完美的節奏。」3對古希臘人來說,舞蹈表達了其生活節奏。他們在工作和所有創作中追求完美的節奏。他們對理解節奏規律的研究,是為了尋求生死奧秘的答案。大自然成了他們的嚮導;他們敏銳地觀察著它,並遵守了它的法規。柏拉圖(公元前331-404年)在《會飲篇》上寫道,喜愛美麗的人使用「……地球的美麗事物作為階梯,拾級而上」4。節奏是生活的中心,這一看法給予舞蹈非常重要的地位。

Ruby Ginner

學習動作和音樂是古希臘兒童(古典時代,the Hellenic Age 500-400 BC)的教育基礎。動作訓練孩子控制身體,音樂訓練孩子發展審美意識。通過跳舞和唱歌來提高這些技能,以培養每個孩子的自然節奏,並以之作為人生基礎。關於認識節奏的必要性,柏拉圖寫道:

「風格、和諧、優雅和良好的節奏之美取決於簡樸,我指的是思想和品格都高尚而正確有序的真正的簡樸。如果我們的青年要在人生中做自己的工作,他們不就是應要以這些優雅與和諧作為永恆的目標嗎?讓我們的藝術家可以有才能去分辨美麗和優雅的真實本質,然後我們的青年將居住在健康的土地之上、在美好的景像和聲音之中,並在所有事物中得到好處。」5

Ginner說:「在其最高的形式,舞蹈是一種嘗試,通過動作令人看見超越物質世界的精神事物。」因此,希臘人眼中的舞蹈,可能是一種崇拜活動,是「……祈禱、讚美和奉獻的語言,是一種手段,與那些在奧林匹斯山的大廳裡和天上舞者舞蹈著的神靈結合。」6節奏支配了古希臘人的生活,而舞蹈無疑已發展成為這種節奏的一種古典的表達。

古典芭蕾舞作為一個時期

我的早期研究是重新審視芭蕾舞的歷史,確切地找出我們所認識的古典芭蕾舞是於何時及由何人製作。

我發現的是舞蹈在浪漫主義時期之前也有古典時期,就像音樂這藝術形式一樣。為芭蕾舞的發展奠定基石的是讓˙喬治˙諾維爾(Jean Georges Noverre,1727-1810),但他的理論只有在他去世後,才能在一個願意試驗的機構所提供的穩定環境中得以實現,就像狄亞基列夫的俄羅斯芭蕾舞團所做到的。更重要的是,他的理論只能預視一個良好基礎,以培育舞蹈員成為編舞家的萬用工具。

這些發現的重要意義,在於它們消除了一種歷史觀點,即俄羅斯芭蕾舞團那些偉大的足本芭蕾舞劇是由米歇爾˙福金(Michael Fokine,1880-1942)帶領下,被聖彼得堡啟發的創作。一直以來,組成古典芭蕾舞劇目的許多作品,是來自本世紀初發生的那場偉大的芭蕾舞復興, 而這次復興, 是起源自一個遠離法國,但可以讓諾維爾的法國理論完全實現的環境。福金直接使用了諾維爾的理論,但什甚少提及它們的出處,因此幾乎從沒有人質疑過福金所使用的規條的起源。

古典芭蕾舞有兩個獨立的發展時期。諾維爾創作了第一部古典芭蕾舞劇,因此,古典風格可以追溯到18世紀下半葉的德國,及隨後的法國。浪漫時期後,這種風格再次得到了復興,其流行的高峰是1890年代到1920年代的俄羅斯(和西方),並且在世界各地延續,直到今天。

作為風格

現代的古典芭蕾舞藝術起源於西歐的宮廷舞。我們可以從路易十四於1661年創立國家舞蹈學院以來,一世系的舞蹈家、芭蕾舞大師和編舞者,追溯其歷史。這種宮廷舞採用了農民的民間舞蹈中的一些舞步,再經過調整,以配合上層階級的衣著、舉止和社會價值觀。不同的舞蹈風格反映了創造它們的社會,宮廷芭蕾舞風格正是這個說法的典型例子。

宮廷舞的出現以後,人類動作技術的進步使舞蹈成為了專業領域,並要求今天的學生接受多年艱苦而嚴格的訓練,以掌握基本的專業技能。跳芭蕾舞不再是一件社交活動;今天的社交活動,是被動地觀看芭蕾舞蹈專家的演出。

鑑於芭蕾舞起源時的社會與今天的社會之間的差異,這種藝術類型在今天社會中得以倖存下來並受到重視,實是異常。

我可以斷言說,古典芭蕾的目標一直是相當簡單明瞭,那就是要取悅觀眾。它的主題、信息、服裝和動作一開始可能會震驚觀眾,然而,它的創造者從未有顛覆之意圖。服裝的逐漸演變,穿的越來越少、露的越來越多,曾引起了極大的擔憂和不少嘲弄。但這是為了更好地展示技術的進步,而不是加強或改變社會對人類身體的看法。

外觀

在外形上,女古典舞者與芭蕾舞短裙緊密相關,而男性則是淺色緊身褲和貼身外套。這舞蹈類型在風格上最強烈的體現,可能是舞者的垂直度、開放舒展的姿態,以及舞者身體那沒有脂肪但肌肉結實的外觀。 垂直度或脊柱長度顯然是源自試圖刻畫王室風範的宮廷舞。隨著技術的發展,這種脊柱長度的概念也被應用到四肢的使用中,因此所有動作都試圖伸展,盡可能多地利用在身體周圍的空間。上半身的這種舒展、伸延、向外的形態與外開的雙腿協調。整個身體因而向觀眾和其他舞者開放。抬起下巴,使視線略高於從雙眼延伸出的垂直線,並控制肋骨並使其垂直於脊椎。做成的效果,是一種強烈而矜持的信心。 每個動作,無論是阿拉伯斯卡舞姿(arabesque)和單腳尖旋轉(pirouette)之類的基礎位置,還是連接基礎位置之間的動作,都必須連貫、用心和精確。矯揉造作和任何其他多餘的動作都會削弱觀看者對舞者的形態、空間中的線條,以及身體形態演化時之流動的感知。 這些形態的完成,要與音樂協調和在時間上有精確而預設的配合,才能成功。舞者要知道必須在音樂小節的某個節拍上做到阿拉伯斯卡舞姿,或必須在設定的樂句中完成三次轉身,除了指揮家的節奏之外,幾乎沒有什麼會改變這個計劃。當舞者明確的舞步做到與音樂合理地和諧,這種精確度就可以提供連貫性。 古典芭蕾舞風格的女舞者有超凡的氣息。與日常生活中的機能性動作不同,她的動作細膩而嬌嫩,但又似乎從未使她顯得脆弱。這種舉止和目標明確的動作相結合的效果,就是我們所說的優雅。

比起女性古典舞者,男古典舞者更受困於地面,垂直但沒有她的輕盈。他的姿勢自豪而開放,和女舞者的相似。他以堅定的站立姿勢強調活力。古典芭蕾的當代複興強調了看似毫不費勁的騰空,顯示男舞者的芭蕾舞性格。他的出擊強勁但不沉重。

技術

古典芭蕾舞技術訓練的美學目的,是不能與歷史的影響區分開來的。腳的五個位置是芭蕾舞技術最基本的基礎,是在17世紀初被設定為舞蹈規則。在隨後的發展中,法國學派保留了靈感源自小步舞曲的優美、流暢和內斂,而意大利人和丹麥人則發展了技巧上運動性較強的一面。這再加上發展自世界各地的影響,在古典芭蕾技巧的教學中創造了一個融匯不同意念和美學傾向的熔爐。實際上,在巴黎歌劇院芭蕾舞學校聘請俄羅斯教師,或在倫敦皇家芭蕾舞學校聘用丹麥培訓的老師是很常見的事。儘管有識之士可以識別出特定的民族風格,但培訓方法在全世界通常是一致的。

舞蹈技巧的歷史與服裝的歷史緊密相連。在將女性服裝的長度提高到腳踝以上之前,舞者沒有機會或必要展示出精巧的技巧,而是以完成複雜的幾何圖案組合來贏得讚譽。當芭蕾舞女演員瑪麗˙卡瑪戈(Marie Camargo)在18世紀中葉縮短裙子以露出腳踝和雙腳,新的舞步開始出現,以展示這一部分肢體可以做到什麼。

瑪麗˙卡瑪戈 Marie Camargo (1710 - 1770)

隨著服裝發展把腿部露出,及移除了袖子讓手臂得以自由活動,技巧上也力求吸納人體所有的能力來作表達。

女舞者以腳尖支持身體這一主要發展,是追求垂直線條的自然發展,試圖令舞者顯得提升和沒有重量。這一發現對浪漫芭蕾及其中的神秘生物極為有利。舞者在腳尖上升起,便處於一個自然的起飛位置,準備飛往另一個世界。這腳尖運用和如單腳尖旋轉等其他技巧的發展,由開始時的改良,跟著變得複雜,現在已成為這舞蹈類型公認的技巧標誌。

芭蕾舞訓練很嚴格;教學方法的改變非常緩慢,每一代人都保留了其許多前輩的方法論。芭蕾舞工作室就像一個崇拜場所。對學生來說,這是一個非語言的神社,在那裡他們學習身體協調和溝通。這項嚴格的鍛練有如斯巴達(Spartan)勇士所受的嚴苛規律,旨在發展舞者的技術和演繹技巧,並建立個性。舞蹈評論家Andre Levinson將舞蹈家描述為「一部製造美麗的機器」7。這種對個人和個性的否認,而放棄自然的運作方式,是隱含在當今的芭蕾舞者所接受的技巧培訓和嚴格的藝術鍛練之中。這種培訓方法已經使用了多個世紀,並且一直持續到今天,儘管我們對個人的概念已經變得較寬鬆。對於這樣訓練古典舞者的確立依據,Levinson的總結最好:「為了鍛鍊身體達到理想的功能,使舞者成為一個優雅的孩子,有需要令他非人性化或克服其平凡生活的習慣。……熟練的舞者是人造的東西,是一件精密的工具。」8

今天的芭蕾舞訓練利用舞者的個性和生活經驗來幫助他們演繹角色。這樣可以幫助他們在舞台上表現人類情感時,更顯真實​​和深度。對於當今的芭蕾舞學生,甚至對於芭蕾舞觀眾來說,也有必要將芭蕾舞風格與現代生活聯繫起來。

音樂

古典芭蕾的一個重要特徵是它與音樂的緊密結合。諾維爾和福金明確地定義了這種關係和功能。音樂和舞蹈是平等的伙伴,編舞者和作曲家共同處理詮釋芭蕾舞主題的問題。有趣的是,兩個編舞者最初都沒有以這種方式創作,而是使用已經寫好的音樂。

達基列夫的理想是恢復音樂和舞蹈編排的平等夥伴關係,這出現在福金的《火鳥》(The Fire Bird)和《木偶的命運》(Petrouchka)中,前者的音樂由伊戈爾˙斯特拉文斯基(Igor Stravinski)創作,後者由斯特拉文斯基和亞歷山大˙班耐瓦(Alexandre Benois)共同創作。〔編者按:斯特拉文斯基作曲、斯特拉文斯基和班耐瓦作文本〕。現存的古典芭蕾舞的兩個最佳例子是《天鵝湖》和《胡桃夾子》,兩者能歷久不衰,音樂和芭蕾舞都同樣有功。兩者都是彼得˙柴可夫斯基的作品。

《火鳥》 Tamara Karsavina and Michel Fokine in The Firebird (1910)

1877年首演、莫斯科大劇院製作的原版《天鵝湖》,其中許多細節都已失傳。眾所周知,柴可夫斯基的音樂最初被表演者和評論家嘲弄為過於似交響樂和難以起舞(「當時典型的芭蕾舞音樂都是帶有清晰節奏的oom-pah-pah曲調。」9)現時我們認識的版本,是佩蒂巴(Marius Petipa)和艾化李夫(Lev Ivanov)的共同編舞。這是莫斯科大劇院為使此芭蕾舞劇取得成功而進行的第三次嘗試,在1894年首演,並作為聖彼得堡對這位於早一年去世的作曲家的紀念節目之一。

有人可能會說,柴可夫斯基為《胡桃夾子》的薄弱(但複雜)的故事所創作的極其悅耳的樂曲,是令到它得以保存至今,並成為一年一度的度的節日芭蕾舞劇的關鍵。舞劇的第一個版本於1892年在聖彼得堡首演,由艾化李夫編排。

努力實現其所有元素之間的和諧,雖然是一個不一定實現的理想,但它使芭蕾舞與其他舞蹈類型有所區別。

設計/裝飾

對於古典芭蕾舞來說,布景設計的功能遠超於舞台裝飾,而是為了更滿足芭蕾舞本質上的需求。服裝和音樂是認識古典芭蕾舞時不可或缺的元素,舞台設計也是如此。其功能是提供背景來顯示編舞上的線條和細微之處,提高戲劇效果,但尤其重要的是,為芭蕾舞設定了時間、地點和氣氛。

達基列夫以同樣的原則製作他的芭蕾舞。仔細地結合所有元素,使芭蕾舞劇從表演到觀眾之間保持連貫的交流。毫無疑問,這結合的效果為觀眾帶來如此壯觀的視覺和聽覺體驗,以至於人們若沒有適當地考量其音樂和布景,便幾乎無法評估該舞蹈類型的偉大創作。《睡美人》就是其中一個例子。

隨著舞蹈技巧在整個20世紀的發展,故事情節持續地失去其意義,直到現在僅成為公式化展示舞蹈技巧的載體。由於傳統的芭蕾舞故事現在已為老觀眾所熟悉,以及詳細資料亦可見於場刊,整體設計更常是為舞台增添視覺效果,而不是協助編舞者。

故事情節

與其描述和比較古典芭蕾的故事情節,我會從中找出一些與這舞蹈類型的主題有連繫而重複出現的元素。浪漫主義的痕跡及其不食人間煙火的特徵,都在古典芭蕾舞中可以找到,但這並不足以為奇,因為浪漫時期的芭蕾舞劇是在諾維爾和福金之間的幾年間製作的。古典芭蕾的公式遵循相當規範的路徑。芭蕾舞的開首介紹了人物和情節,中間是故事發展,最後一幕或第二幕的結局是危機。傳統上,第三幕慶祝幸福的結局,邪不能勝正,那比任何原因都值得大舞特舞,盡展精湛技藝。

愛,嚴格來說是異性愛,是許多古典芭蕾反復出現的中心特徵。不忠行為會被嚴處,例如《天鵝湖》中受虧待的女人要失信的男人舞至死亡。在王子與公主之間的愛情中,階級制度得以維持,在《灰姑娘》那「特殊」超越階級的婚姻中,則得到強化。

除了尼金斯基(Nijinsky)的《牧神的午後》外,這類型舞蹈最非凡的地方,可能是其嚴格避免公然提及身體的性功能。作為情侶求愛行動的一部分,主角的獨舞會引人聯想;另一方面,兩位舞者肢體密切牽連的雙人舞,則暗示最終可能導致的結果,而避免了對性愛舉動的任何逼真的提示。

尼金斯基的《牧神的午後》Nijinsky's Afternoon of a Faun

考慮到執行古典芭蕾舞中的一些標準高舉動作時所需的把持位勢,要把它們演繹成沒有任何明顯的性意義,是頗難的一件事。一個很好的例子是坐式高舉,男舞者的手臂舉於頭上,把坐著的女舞者托在手掌上。女的在其手掌上保持平衡,骨盆置於他的手掌根上。雖然服裝通常使公眾看不清高舉所需的機械操作,但對於觀眾來說,他那手掌的位置必然是很明顯的,但這仍然保持作一個純真的舉動。

在有序的社會中,古典芭蕾舞劇強化了基督教的嚴格道德價值觀,而壯觀地呈現非凡而優美的動作是這舞蹈類型的主要目的。故事、音樂和舞台設計的和諧融合進一步增強了觀眾的體驗,並展現出我們現在所認識的古典芭蕾那盡致奇觀。塞爾瑪˙珍妮˙科恩(Selma Jeanne Cohen)在處理古典芭蕾舞的定義時得出的結論是:「對於優雅形象,我們所知道的最好體現可能是古典風格。」10

結語

在對古典芭蕾舞的許多組成部分進行了這樣的描述和討論之後,顯而易見,沒有任何一個元素是排他的。通過結合所有重要元素,我們可以找出一些在風格上符合既定規則的連貫特徵。了解這些特徵的歷史發展,以及當中不斷演變的美學態度和價值觀,可以使我們更好地理解和欣賞舞蹈這門藝術形式,尤其是古典風格。

當芭蕾舞成功地表達了不斷變化的社會價值和渴求時,它就隨之而流行。但當它的創造者使用過時的主題或形式而與當代價值失去聯繫時,這舞蹈類型對社會的相關性和有用性就減少了,它的受歡迎程度也因而下降。

風格獨特的「外觀」以及不斷重演創作於俄羅斯繁盛時期的極少數作品,賦予芭蕾舞風格上那精英、靜態、博物館藝術般的形象。現代的觀眾認為他們看到的是真誠的複製品是可以原諒的,但事實是,這些重演與原作只是隱約相似。不幸地,這種誤解只會助長了一個神話,那就是古典芭蕾舞是博物館般的一種藝術形式。這顯然不是,因為技術、製作方法和個人演繹等各方面的進步,為每次重演賦予以不同的--如果不是全新的--觀點。

許多當今的重新製作都以失敗告終,不是因為其主題陳舊,而是出於一個簡單的原因:它們忽略了相關的芭蕾風格已建立的基本規則和原理。隨著所謂的古典芭蕾團不斷修改舊作品,孤注一擲地以更多現代詮釋來留住觀眾,極少嘗試創作古典風格的新芭蕾舞。製作人將芭蕾舞縮貶為一系列的舞蹈奇觀,或由原本的脈絡中抽出選段,製作短篇集錦節目,不能適當地表現原作和當中原意。諾維爾和福金要求他們的作品要有統一的目標和各個元素的平衡,同時要回歸古典主義的箴言(福金非常成功),他們就是反抗這樣的發展。

古典主義的重要支柱之一,是精英主義。古典芭蕾舞仍然是忠於這點,但那不是貶義的精英主義。儘管其創作和參與不再基於與階級相關的定義,但除了訓練有素的專家以外,芭蕾舞對身體和紀律上的要求,排除了其他人的參與。此外,昂貴而精心製作的古典芭蕾舞的吸引力,加上芭蕾舞作為一種高級藝術形式的形象,不僅吸引了那些有能力購票的觀眾,而且還吸引了另一些觀眾,以出席芭蕾舞演出來顯出他們的精緻品味和上流社會地位。

純粹學習芭蕾舞的人所獲得的回報,是古典芭蕾舞訓練的一個重要吸引因素:它對學生終身有益。儘管規則和訓練方法看似苛刻,但它為身心訓練提供了好處,對課堂以外的生活很有幫助。此外,在身體技能、協調能力和動作體驗上的收獲,也提供了獨特的個人愉悅感和很大的成就感。20世紀的舞蹈家和編舞家泰德˙肖恩(Ted Shawn,1891-1972)在討論什麼因素構成藝術作品時說:「……最大的常數,就是在舞蹈中我們體驗到了節奏美……」11

有志於在古典芭蕾舞團表演的學生所披露的最大動機,是一種「逃避」的慾望。由於古典芭蕾舞故事既不挑戰也不會扭曲井然有序的基督教社會觀念,因此它們被認為是心靈的避風港。這可能很好地解釋了為什麼幾個世紀以來,父母都以芭蕾舞藝術教育自己的孩子,尤其是女孩。

毫無疑問,在純粹的學術意義上,古典芭蕾舞確實符合古代人所擁護的古典主義理想。但是,今天「古典芭蕾舞」一詞使用得有點寬鬆,而「古典」一詞現已成為所有芭蕾舞的通用名詞。

觀眾之所以繼續出席芭蕾舞劇目(古典和浪漫)演出,必然與一個事實有很大關連,那就是大多數人認為這種娛樂形式對我們社會的年輕人和老年人來說是「道德上安全的」。但同時,未能吸引到中年觀眾,肯定會成為影響這門藝術形式生存的一個日益嚴重的問題。

如果不把芭蕾舞視作一種不斷發展的藝術形式,一定會對它的生存帶來危險。貫穿整個現代時期的新技巧和舞蹈哲學的演變,是與任何舞蹈類型息息相關,芭蕾舞也不例外。

古代人提出的,以及在古典芭蕾舞中所體現的古典主義理想,提供了一個廣闊的平台,將舞蹈帶入21世紀。無論是諾維爾還是福金的理論,都沒有排除它們被用作為製作新古典芭蕾舞作品的根基。這些偉大的藝術家所建立的風格準則已證實成功,如果將它們運用到當代主題、音樂和價值觀中,古典風格的芭蕾舞將再次使觀眾欣喜,並挑戰表演者。

與普遍的看法相反,古典芭蕾舞不是一種博物館般的藝術形式,而是數百年來一直在發展。在我們這個時代,這種風格的力量減弱的原因,是在於它所投射的,是過時的西方文化價值,而這些價值與現今只有很少或完全沒有關連。

也許,芭蕾舞現在被放到了被諾維爾和福金復興之前的那個位置,令人覺得像是處於歷史上的低潮。它所需要的,是與新千禧年的生活更加相關。

Introduction

In modern Western society the term classical ballet conjures up specific stereotypical images. The pictorial image of the fine-framed ballerina standing vertically on her toes and dressed in white tutu is perhaps the strongest image which unites our understanding of this term. This paper explores classical ballet to discover the origins of this image and dance-style, the identifying features, with their explicit and implicit meanings, and finally what makes this style "classical".

The very first task to confront when discussing any form of dance, is the attempt to provide valid definitions for key words. The most fundamental of these should be the word "dance", for which many definitions have been written. A particularly useful one of these is by the anthropologist Joann Kealiinohomoku:

"Dance is a transient mode of expression. performed in a given form and style by the human body moving in space. Dance occurs through purposefully selected and controlled rhythmic movements; the resulting phenomenon is recognized as dance both by the performer and the observing members of a given group."1

The Dance in Theory by John Martin

This definition is clinical, and does not recognize either the relationship between dance and music, or mention the "expressive" potentialities of dance; but, the two aspects which most appeal to me are that dance is human activity, and that performer and observer recognize the activity as dance.

Classical ballet is a product of the Western world since it can be clearly shown that its characteristics, and the enduring significance of these, are an affirmation of Western social traditions, beliefs and aesthetic values. Like all dance. classical ballet is a form of ethnic dance, however, it is commonly described as either theatre or artistic dance. From the birth of the genre "ballet" in the courts of Europe, and throughout the development of the style "classical ballet" to the present day, its prime function has been a theatrical presentation to an audience. The authority of classical antiquity has strongly influenced the development of dance, albeit in different contexts and with altered meaning. The dance genre of ballet has had very few articulate cognoscenti to guide its development. The few formulas and original theories that do exist could all be said to accept the views handed down from classical antiquity. Other art-forms developed from this lineage have the benefit of physical objects that have survived such as poems, original written texts, sculptures and so on, which can be used to examine the effect of theory on practice. Dance suffers from its lack of historical recordings; this explains why its academic pursuit and documentation is comparatively small against other art-forms. Because of this. I can only speculate about the actual performed dance, drawing inferences from existing material about its nature, its kinds, its effects, its devices and techniques.

Classical theory stems from the ancient Greeks and requires brief definition as a reference point for explanations put forward later in this paper. The concept of classicism as an artistic movement is a major and complex subject and my attempt to crystallize the essential theories. key aspects of which I have isolated, will inevitably over-simplify the movement as a whole.

The word Classical derives from our knowledge of Class I citizens in Rome (2nd to the 4th centuries AD), who paid taxes and could vote. Thus, in alignment with Class I citizens. the term was applied to literature and other arts, denoting their value as the best or excellent or outstandingly important. These citizens had long and famous family lineages, which confirms the notion of classical art's being capable of long-lasting effect and value. The common understanding of the term "classical", as it relates to the arts, is the restrained style of Greek classical antiquity — a long established style, serious and conventional. This style was supported by rules prescribed as a formula for the production of excellent art. These rules dictated that art be simple, harmonious, well-proportioned, and finished.

The concept of classicism arose through historical processes, and an exact definition must be replaced by description. Names ascribed to cultural habits or movements attempt to synthesise the spirit of what has already been done, thus allowing distinction between specific movements, between the classical movement and the Romantic, for example. The dance theorist John Martin finds no less than six meanings for the term classical when applied to art:

“... it may have to do with ancient Greece or Rome, it may be a work from another period that has managed to survive, usually in the schoolroom; it may be composed according to specific and stereotyped rules of form; it may employ a standard, codified vocabulary; it may be couched in a style that is cool, unemotional and neatly balanced in design; or it may be simply something outside the range of what is immediately and cheaply popular."2

To assist readers of this study, a brief insight into the cultural ethos of the ancient Greeks will serve to expose the thinking of the peoples whose actions and philosophies inspired the word classical. It would seem appropriate to use dance as my immediate consideration, not only because it is central to this study. but because ancient Greek thinking in relation to dance mirrored the rules and methods they advocated for life in general. The 20th-century Greek dance historian Ruby Ginner, in Gateway to the Dance, writes that the Greeks cultivated dance to an "...extraordinary degree and in it found the full perfection of rhythm."3 Dance to the ancient Greeks expressed the rhythm of their lives. They strove for perfection of rhythm in their work and in all that they made. Their study for an understanding of rhythmic law searched for answers to the mysteries of life and death. Nature became their guide; they were keen observers of it, and abided by its laws. Plato (331-404 BC) writes in the Symposium that the lover of beauty uses "... the beauties of the earth as steps along which he mounts upwards"4. The notion that rhythm was central to life afforded dance great importance.

The study of movement and music formed the basis of education for the Greek children of Hellas (the Hellenic Age 500-400 BC). Movement trained the child to govern the body, and music to develop the aesthetic sense. These skills were advanced by dancing and singing to cultivate natural rhythm in each child as a foundation for life. Plato wrote on the necessity of knowledge about rhythm:

"Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend upon simplicity, I mean the true simplicity of a rightly and nobly ordered mind and character. If our youth are to do their work in life, must they not make these graces and harmonies their perpetual aim? Let our artists be those who are gifted to discern the true nature of the beautiful and graceful, then will our youth dwell in a land of health amid fair sights and sounds, and receive the good in everything." 5

Ginner states: "In its highest forms, dancing is an effort to make visible through movement the things of the spirit that lay beyond the material world." Therefore, dancing for the Greeks could be an activity of a worship, a "... language of prayer, praise and dedication, a means of attaining union with the divinities who themselves danced their celestial dancers in the halls of Olympus."6 Dance therefore has undoubtedly developed as a classical expression of the rhythm that governed the lives of the ancient Greeks.

Classical Ballet as a Period

My early research was to re-look at the history of ballet. I wanted to discover exactly when the ballets that we know as classical were produced and by whom.

What I discovered is that like the art-form of music, dance too had a classical period prior to the Romantic period. It was Jean Georges Noverre (1727-1810) who laid the foundation for the development of ballet. But his theories could only be realized after his death in the secure environment of an organization willing to experiment, such as that created by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. More importantly, his theories could only foreshadow a sound basis for the education of dancers that would develop them into resourceful tools for the choreographer.

Jean-Georges Noverre (Perronneau, 1764, Louvre)

What is significant about these findings is that they dispel the historical view that the great full-length ballets of Ballets Russes were a St. Petersburg-inspired creation lead by Michael Fokine. The great ballet revival which occurred at the beginning of this century and provided us with many works which continue to make up the classical ballet repertoire, was the result of an environment, far from France, where the French theories of Noverre could be fully realized. Michael Fokine (1880-1942) used Noverre's theories directly, but afforded them little credit, and few have since questioned the origins of the canons employed by Fokine.

Classical ballet had two separate periods of development. Noverre created the first classical ballet; therefore, the classical style dates back to the second half of the 18th century in Germany and later in France. The style was again revived in the post-Romantic period, with its height of popularity from the 1890's up until the 1920's in Russia (and in the West), and continues throughout the world to the present day.

As a Style

The modern art of classical ballet has its roots in the court dance of Western Europe. Its history can be traced through a line of dancers, ballet-masters and choreographers since the establishment of the L’Académie Nationale de la Danse, founded in 1661 by Louis XIV. This court dance adapted steps from the folk-dances of the peasants, which were adjusted to conform to the dress, manners and social values of the upper classes. Dance-styles reflect the society which creates them and this is well exemplified in the style of court ballet.

The technical advances in human movement made since the day of the court dance have rendered such movement a specialist field of endeavour, and demand that today's student undergo years of arduous and disciplined training to acquire the essential specialist skills. The practice of ballet is no longer the social event. The social event today has become the passive activity of viewing performances of ballet-dancing specialists.

That ballet has survived and is valued in today's society is extraordinary, given the differences between the society from which the genre grew and the society which sees a use for it today.

I would assert that classical ballet's aim has always been fairly simplistic and clear, that is, to entertain and please its audience. Its themes, messages, costumes and movements may have at first shocked its audience; however, its creators have never aimed at being subversive. The gradual evolution of costumes, the process of wearing less and revealing more, has caused great alarm and considerable derision; but this was done to demonstrate better the advances in technique rather than to reinforce or change society's image of the human body.

The Look

The female classical ballet-dancer is associated strongly with the tutu, and the male with light-coloured tights and fined jacket. Perhaps the strongest manifestation of the style of this genre are the verticality of the dancer, the open expansive stance, and the lean, muscular look of the dancer's body.

The verticality, or length of spine, is clearly derived from the court dance which attempted to portray a regal demeanour. As technique developed to serve the style, this concept of spinal length was also applied to the use of the limbs, so that all movement attempted to extend, to use as much space around the body as possible. This expansive, stretched, outwardness of the upper body acts in harmony with the turned-out legs. The entire body is therefore open to the audience and to the other dancers. The chin is raised so that the eye line is slightly higher than the vertical line extending from eye-level, and the rib-cage is controlled and held vertical in line with the spine. The effect is of a strong but reserved confidence.

Each movement, whether of the foundation positions such as the arabesque and the pirouette or the linking moves from one to the other, must be coherent, deliberate and precise. Mannerisms and any other superfluous movement will detract from the viewer's perception of the dancer's shapes, the lines in space, and the flow of the body in its progression from one shape to the next.

The execution of these shapes is achieved in harmony with, and in precise and predetermined time to, the music. The dancer will know that the arabesque must be reached on a certain beat of the bar, that three turns have to be completed within a set musical phrase. Little but the conductor's tempo alters this plan and when the clarity of the dancer's steps is achieved in a logical harmony with the music, then this precision provides coherence.

The female dancer of the classical ballet style has the air of being unattainable. Her movements are, unlike the functional movements of everyday life, delicate and fragile, yet, incongruously, never seeming to make her appear vulnerable. The combined effect of this demeanour and the clarity of purpose in her movement is what we might call grace.

The male classical dancer is more earthbound than the female, vertical yet without her lightness. His posture, as with the female's, is proud and open. He stresses vigour with firmness of stance. The contemporary revivals of classical ballets stress the seemingly effortless elevation which displays the male dancer's balletic character. His attack is strong but not heavy.

Technique

It is impossible to separate historical influences from the aesthetic aims of training in the classical ballet technique. The five positions of the feet, the fundamental basis of ballet technique, were set down as rules of dancing at the beginning of the 17th century. Throughout the ensuing years of development, the French school retained the graceful, flowing, restrained inspiration of the minuet, whilst the Italians and Danes developed the more athletic aspects of technique. These and other influences from developments around the world have created a melting-pot of ideals and aesthetic tendencies in the teaching of classical ballet technique. In fact, it is common to have Russian teachers at the Paris Opera Ballet School and Danish-trained teachers engaged by the Royal Ballet School in London. Although specific national styles are recognisable to the trained eye, methods of training are generally consistent world-wide.

The history of dance technique is closely bound up with the history of costume. Before the length of the female costume was raised above the ankle, there was no chance or necessity to display virtuosity, and dancers were admired for their execution of complicated geometric floor-patterns. When the ballerina Marie Camargo shortened her skirt midway through the 18th century to reveal her ankles and feet, new steps were developed to display what could be done with this part of the body.

As the costume developed to reveal the legs, and the removal of sleeves allowed the free flow of the arms, so the technique strove to incorporate all of the body's capacities for expression.

The major development which saw the female dancer rise sur les pointes, or onto her toes, was the natural progression from the achievements of vertical line to an attempt to appear uplifted and weightless. This discovery was of enormous benefit to the Romantic ballets with their unearthly creatures. The dancer raised on the tips of her toes was in the natural taking-off position for flight to another world. This skill of pointe work and other developments such as the pirouette were first refined, then made more complicated, and have now become the established, recognisable technical symbols of the genre.

Ballet training is strict; teaching methods change very slowly and each generation retains much of its predecessors' methodology. The ballet studio is like a place of worship. For the student it is a non-verbal shrine where their craft of bodily co-ordination and communication is learned. This disciplined training, akin to the Draconian regimen of the Spartan warrior, attempts to develop skills of technique and interpretation and build character in the dancer. Dance critic Andre Levinson describes the dancer as "a machine for manufacturing beauty"7. This denial of individuality and personality, the forgoing of a natural method of functioning, is implicit in the technical training and in the rigorous artistic discipline accepted by today's ballet-dancers. This method of training has been employed for several centuries and continues to the present day, despite our more liberal concept of the individual. The established rationale for the classical dancer's education is best summed up by Levinson: "To discipline the body to this ideal function, to make a dancer of a graceful child, it is necessary to begin by dehumanising him, or rather by overcoming the habits of ordinary life.... The accomplished dancer is an artificial being, an instrument of precision."8

Today's ballet-training draws upon the personality and life experience of the dancer to assist them with interpretive roles. This can enable greater sincerity and depth of interpretation where human emotions are portrayed on the stage. It is also necessary for today's ballet students and, indeed, for ballet audiences to equate the relevance of the ballet-style with modern life.

Music

A significant feature of the classical ballet is its intimate alliance with music. Jean Georges Noverre and Michel Fokine clearly defined this relationship and function. Music and dance were to be equal partners, the choreographer and composer jointly dealing with the problem of interpreting the ballet's theme. Interestingly, neither of these choreographers initially worked in this way. Both began by using music which had already been written.

Michel Fokine (1880 - 1942)

Diaghilev's ideal was to restore the equal partnership of music and choreography, and this Fokine did in The Fire Bird, with music by Igor Stravinski, and in Petrouchka, composed jointly by Igor Stravinski and Alexandre Benois [Editor note: Music by Igor Stravinsky; Libretto by Igor Stravinsky and Alexandre Benois]. Perhaps the best two examples of surviving classical ballets which owe their longevity as much to the music as to the ballets themselves are Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, the music for both was composed by Peter Tchaikovsky.

Many details of the original Bolshoi production of Swan Lake, which premiered in 1877, have been lost. What is known is that Tchaikovsky's music was initially derided by both performers and critics for being too symphonic and undanceable ("A typical ballet score of the time consisted of oom-pah-pah tunes with a clean rhythmic beat."9) The version we know was a joint choreographic effort of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. This third attempt by the Bolshoi to make a success of the ballet premiered in 1894 as part of a St. Petersburg memorial programme commemorating the composer's death the year before.

One could argue that the supremely melodic score that Tchaikovsky created for the flimsy (but complicated) story of The Nutcracker is central to its survival as an annual holiday-treat ballet. Lev Ivanov choreographed the first version which premiered in St Petersburg in 1892.

It is the striving to achieve harmony between all its elements, an ideal not always achieved, which distinguishes this genre from others.

Design/Decor

The function of scenic design for classical ballet attempts to be far more intrinsic to the needs of the ballet than merely a decorative stage adornment. Just as costume and music arc indispensable elements in identifying classical ballet, so too is stage design. Its functions are to form the background that will help to show the line and subtleties of the choreography, heighten the theatrical effect, and importantly. set the ballet in a time, place and mood.

Diaghilev mounted his ballets on the same principle. carefully combining all of the elements so that the ballet had a coherent line of communication from the performance to the audience. Undoubtedly the combined effect produced such a spectacular visual and aural experience for the audience, that one can hardly evaluate the great creations of the genre, such as The Sleeping Beauty. without giving due weight to their musical and scenic properties.

As dance technique progressed throughout the 20th century, the story-line continued to lose its significance until it is now merely a vehicle for the formulaic display of dance-technique. Since the traditional ballet stories are now well known to regular patrons and detailed information appears in printed programmes, the overall design serves more often to fill the stage with visual spectacle than to assist the choreography.

Storyline

Rather than describing and comparing the story-lines of the classical ballets, I will identify some recurring elements in them which link the themes of this genre. Traces of romanticism and its other-worldly features can be found in classical ballets. This is hardly surprising since the ballets of the Romantic Period were produced in the intervening years between Noverre and Fokine. The formula for the classical ballets follows a fairly regular path. The opening of the ballet introduces the characters and the plot, the middle develops the story-line, and the last act, or the end of the second, presents the crisis. Traditionally the third act celebrates the happy ending. in which good prevails over evil - as good an excuse as any for lots of virtuoso dancing.

Love, strictly hetero-sexual love, is a recurring central feature of many of the classical ballets. Infidelity was harshly dealt with, for example, in Swan Lake, where unfaithful men were made to dance to death by wronged women. The class system was upheld by love between princes and princesses and reinforced by the 'special' out-of-class marriages such as that in Cinderella.

With the notable exception of Nijinsky's Afternoon of a Faun, perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of the genre is the strict avoidance of overt references to the body's sexual function. The solos of the protagonists, performed as part of a couple's courtship, are suggestive, and whilst the pas de deux, a close physical involvement of two dancers, aludes to what may eventuate, it avoids any realistic suggestion of the sexual act.

Considering the holding positions needed to execute some of the standard lifts in classical ballet, it is quite a feat to have rendered them devoid of any explicit sexual meaning. A good example is the sitting-lift, where the female sits on top of the male's hand whilst his arm is fully extended above his head. The female balances on the male palm, the heel of his hand on her pelvis. The mechanics of the lift are often obscured from public view by the costume; however, the positioning of the hand must be obvious to the audience and yet it all remains an innocent act.

Classical ballet reinforces strict Christian values of morality in an ordered society and the spectacular presentation of extraordinary yet beautiful movement is the central purpose of the genre. The harmonious blend of story, music and stage-design further intensifies the audience's experience and presents the full spectacle of what we now recognise as classical ballet. Selma Jeanne Cohen, in tackling the definition of classical ballet, concluded: "The classical style may be the highest manifestation we know of the image of grace."10

Conclusions

After such a description and discussion of the many component aspects of classical ballet, it is clear that no single element is exclusive. By combining all the important elements, however, we can identify the consistent stylistic traits which conform to the established rules of the style. An understanding of the historical development of these traits, along with the evolving aesthetic attitudes and values, allows greater understanding and appreciation of the art-form in general and the classical style in particular.

When ballet succeeded in providing a representational expression of the changing values and aspirations of society, popularity for the genre ensued. When its creators lost contact with contemporary values, using outdated themes or forms, then its relevance and usefulness to society waned and its popularity, therefore, declined.

The distinctive 'look' of the style and the constant revival of a very small number of works created in the boom period in Russia, have given the style an elitist, static, museum-art-form image. A modern audience could be forgiven for thinking that they are seeing faithful reproductions; however, these revivals, bear only a faint resemblance to the originals. Unfortunately, this misconception only helps perpetuate the myth that classical ballet is a museum art-form. This is clearly not the case, as advances in technique, production methods and personal interpretation give each revival a different, if not entirely new, perspective.

Many present-day reproductions fail, not because the themes are merely old, but for the simple reason that they ignore the fundamental rules and principles laid down for the relevant balletic style. As so-called classical ballet companies continue to mangle the old works, in a desperate attempt to maintain their audiences with more contemporary interpretations, very few new ballets in the classical style are being attempted. The original works and their intentions are not well served by producers who reduce the ballet to a series of all-dancing spectaculars or take excerpts out of context for presentation in divertissement programmes. These are the very developments against which Noverre and Fokine rebelled when they called for a unity of purpose and balance

between the elements sustaining their works, and returned (so successfully in the case of Fokine) to the maxims of classicism.

True to one of the main pillars of classicism, classical ballet remains elitist, but not elitist in its pejorative sense. Although its creation and participation are no longer based on definitions related to class, the ballet's physical and disciplinary demands preclude all but the most highly-trained specialists. In addition, the lure of elaborate, costly productions of classical ballet and ballet's image as a high art-form, have attracted not only those patrons with the considerable sums of money required to pay for tickets, but also those for whom attendance at the ballet is a symbol of their refined taste and upper-class status.

The reward for those who participate in ballet only as students is an important factor in the appeal of classical ballet-training: it provides an education for life. Although the rules and training methods employed may seem harsh, they offer benefits for the discipline of body and mind which are useful to life outside the classroom. Additionally, the attainment of physical skills, coordination and the experience of movement itself provide a unique, personal delight and a great sense of achievement. The 20th-century dancer and choreographer Ted Shawn (1891-1972), when discussing what constitutes a work of art, states: "... the greatest constant of all is that here in the dance we experience a rhythmic beauty. . ."11

The outstanding motive revealed by students aspiring to perform in classical ballet companies, is the desire to 'escape'. Since classical-ballet stories neither challenge nor distort the notion of an ordered Christian society, they are considered a safe haven for the mind. This may well explain why for centuries parents have educated their children, especially girls, in the art of ballet.

In the purely academic sense, there seems no doubt that classical ballet does indeed conform closely to the ideals of classicism espoused by the ancients. However, today the term 'classical ballet' is used somewhat more loosely and the word 'classical' has now become a generic term for all ballet.

That audiences continue to patronise performances of the ballet repertoire (classical and Romantic) must have a lot to do with the fact that this form of entertainment is considered by most to be 'morally safe' for the younger and the older generations of our society. The failure to attract audiences in the middle age-groups will surely become an increasing problem for the survival of the art form.

If ballet is not acknowledged as an evolving art-form, then its survival is surely in danger. The evolution of new techniques and dance philosophies throughout the modern era, are as pertinent to ballet as they are to any other dance genre.

The ideals of classicism, as put forward by the ancients and as manifest in classical ballet, provide a broad platform from which to launch dance into the 2Ist century. There is nothing in the theories of either Noverre or Fokine which preclude their adoption as a basis for producing new classical ballet works. The canons for the style laid down by these great artists have proved successful, and if they are applied to contemporary themes, music and values, classical-style ballet can once again delight the audience and challenge the performer.

Classical ballet, contrary to popular belief, is not a museum art-form but has continued to evolve over hundreds of years. The reason for the diminished power of the style in our time is due to the outdated Western cultural values which it projects and which have little or no relevance today.

Perhaps ballet is placed where it was at the time before its revival by both Noverre and Fokine. It feels as though it is at a low ebb in history. It needs to become more relevant to life in the 2000.

Note:

1. Copeland, Roger. and Marshel Cohen. eds. What is Dance?: Readings in Theory and Criticism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1983. p.541.

2 Martin, John. The Dance in Theory. New York: Dance Horizons, 1989. p.81.

3 Ginner. Ruby. Gateway to the Dance. London: Newman Neame Limited. 1960.

4 Lee, D. trans. Plato. The Republic. London: Penguin Books. 1987.

5 Ibid.

6 Ginner, Ruby. Gateway to the Dance. London: Newman Neame Limited, 1960.

7 Selma Jeanne Cohen, (1982) Next Week. Swan Lake, Reflections on Dance and Dances (Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press), p.123

8 ibid., p.123.

9 A and Donald Hutera Robertson, (1988) The Dance Handbook (Essex, England: Longman Group UK Ltd.), p.30

10 Selma Jeanne Cohen, (1986) Next Week, Swan Lake: Reflections on Dance and Dancers (Middletown. Conneticut: Wesleyan University Press). p.124

11 Jean Morrison Brown. ed., (1980) The Vision of Modern Dance (London: Dance Books). p.101

編輯手記 Editor's Note

本日分享兩篇由兩位香港演藝學院的前導師以古典芭蕾舞為題的文章。

前芭蕾舞系主任高家霖(Graeme Collins)以《美麗重溫:對芭蕾〈睡美人〉的個人看法》為題,在觀看香港芭蕾舞團於2002年的《睡美人》時,以其舞者及觀眾身份,用幽默言語評論此劇,並同時分享了歷史中多齣同一劇目的小故事。

另一篇由舞蹈學院前院長施素心(Susan Street)以《古典芭蕾舞為何古典》為題,詳細講述古典芭蕾舞的時期、風格、外觀、技術、音樂、設計/裝飾、故事情節等各個背景及特點。文章內容豐富詳盡,具跨越年代的可讀性。

這兩篇很不一樣的文章以兩個不同的角度出發。一篇是以個人主觀角度,與讀者分享作者於不同人生階段對同一作品之不同製作的體驗,另一篇是以較宏觀角度嚴肅地探索古典芭蕾舞之根源及本質。但是,兩文的內容有不少相交之處;後者為前者提供了更全面的背景資料,而前者又可看作為對後者的一個專題探討。當中既有互相印證的地方,也有一些觀點不同的看法。兩文相互對讀非常有趣。

Today I’m sharing two articles on the subject of classical ballet written by two former faculty members of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts School of Dance.

Graeme Collins, the former head of the ballet department, wrote Beauty Revisited: A personal perspective on the ballet - Sleeping Beauty after watching Hong Kong Ballet's production in 2002. As a dancer and an audience member, he comments on the dance with humour as well as insight and shares with the readers his experiences in, and some stories about, several productions of this classic work.

Written by Prof. Susan Street, the former Dean of Dance, the article What is Classical about Classical Ballet? searches for the roots of the genre, and discusses the background and characteristics of various aspects of classical ballet, including period, style, look, technique, music, design/decor, and storyline. The article is rich in information and details that are still relevant now, 20 years after its publication. The starting points of the two articles are entirely different.

One is written from a personal perspective, sharing with the readers the author’s experience in different productions of the same work at different stages of his life as well as reviewing a new production, while the other is a more objective attempt to explore the roots and essence of classical ballet from a macro perspective. However, their views intersect from time to time. Prof. Street’s piece provides comprehensive background information for the one by Mr. Collins, and we could also read his piece as a case study to illustrate hers. While there are areas where the two writers are in agreement with each other, they also offer some different points of view, which makes interesting to read the two articles together.

客席編輯Guest Editor: 劉秀群Cathy Lau Sau Kwan | 翻譯Translation:施德安 Cecil Sze

 編輯推介  HIGHLIGHTS

廣告 Ad

Harlequin_FLOORS_Logo_Limited_Horizontal

過往出版  Past Publications

其他文章 More Articles

相關文章  RELATED ARTICLES

© 2019 by the Hong Kong Dance Alliance