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MacDonald and Tharp and Rossetti

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  • David Lenander
    Interesting, different reactions. I would ve thought _Princess & the Goblin_ far, far better known than Goblin Market. I m not really sure that the motif of
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 16, 2012
      Interesting, different reactions.  I would've thought _Princess & the Goblin_ far, far better known than "Goblin Market." I'm not really sure that the motif of younger siblings stolen away isn't from some fairy tale tradition, though I can't point my finger at it, offhand.  Did Maurice Sendak take it from Rossetti, too?  I first encountered the Goblin story in the television adaptation by Shirley Temple in her television series in the ??early 60s? She also did _Pippi Longstocking_, and some others that I can't bring to mind, just now, and several of these haunted me for years, as I gradually discovered the books, none more than this one.  (At least one story still haunts me, and I don't know to this day what it was from). But, my daughter and her friends knew Macdonald's story from the animated film of the ??70s? 80s?  Which I don't much care for.  I don't know if Cat ever read the book, though I've recommended it to her. For whatever reason, I never read it aloud to her when we were doing that.  

      Rossetti's poem is a great work, but I don't think it even made the Norton Anthology earlier on, at least it definitely wasn't in the "Major Authors" one that I used as a freshman.  I think it would be today, and I'm sure it's in some of the more complete anthologies, at least.  Her critical stature has certainly grown, but for quite a while, earlier in the twentieth century, she was considered rather an adjunct to her brother, though I think her stature has quite surpassed his at this point (at least his stature as a poet, as opposed to that as a painter).  Personally, I've never read most of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, but I think I've read most of Rossetti and like her work more.  "Goblin Market" was not published for children, unlike her _Sing-Song_ and _Speaking Likenesses_, and maybe some of the short stories in _Commonplace_.  I think her sonnet sequences are quite fine and beautiful.  All those "rhymes-bouts" that the Rossetti children played paid off for her.  (Her brother's are also very fine).  

      As for Twyla Tharp, I've seen her dance, and I've seen a lot more of her choreography--especially her "Push Comes to Shove," which I think I've seen danced by different dancers, certainly by Baryshnikov a couple of times, but I almost think I saw her dance it at one point.  Or certainly someone else.  Certainly I saw her "Deuce Coup,"  and I think "Catherine Wheel" unless it was just reading reviews of the latter that left such a strong impression.  Look her up in wikipedia.  Not that I know anything about dance. But one thing is clear, Tharp has a sense of humor, and I'll bet she made something of the goblin tender feet in the choreography, as you wondered.  

      David Lenander
      2095 Hamline Ave. N.
      Roseville, MN 55113


      Gwnewch y pethau bychain mewn bywyd

      On Feb 15, 2012, at 6:21 AM, mythsoc@yahoogroups.com wrote:

      Messages In This Digest (2 Messages)



      Re: Ballet of "The Princess and the Goblin"

      Posted by: "John Rateliff" sacnoth@...   sacnoth32

      Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:20 pm (PST)

      Following this link, and belatedly checking out the one you'd posted previously, i thought it a fascinating account of how they'd tried to adapt a work from one genre (Victorian children's fantasy) to another (modern ballet). The explanations for what they changed, and why, and what they took pains to keep, and why, were really interesting -- to me, at least (e.g., shifting the main character from a young girl to a young adult because a teen dancer cdn't execute all the difficult maneuvers required by the part). Although I have to admit I'd thought Twyla Tharp was a country singer, not a distinguished dancer and choreographer, and was thrown by the statement that it was set to music by Franz Schubert, which I misread as their saying Schubert had set MacDonald's piece to music (which chronologically didn't make sense). Finally realized they were just adapting music by Schubert as suitable for the era they wanted to evoke. 

      Odd that the article writer in both cases didn't seem to recognize the motif of the main character's younger sibling(s) stolen away by the goblins as coming from "Goblin Market" -- I wd have thought that's a far more well known piece than the MacDonald. 

      Did love the idea of doing a ballet in which all the villains have tender, stomp-able feet.

      Thanks for posting the links, wh. I'd otherwise never have come across

      --John R.

      On Feb 13, 2012, at 1:55 PM, davise@.... edu wrote:
      > Since my earlier post created such a stir here, I figured I should post a link to the review in the NY Times:
      > http://www.nytimes. com/2012/ 02/13/arts/ dance/twyla- tharps-the- princess- and-the-goblin. html
      > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups .com, davise@... wrote:
      >> Twyla Tharp's new full-length ballet based on George MacDonald's "The Princess and the Goblin" will have its premiere performance Feb. 10-19 by the Atlanta ballet.
      >> http://www.nytimes. com/2012/ 02/05/arts/ dance/twyla- tharp-creates- the-princess- and-the-goblin- ballet.html

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