View this post on Instagram
#SpeakingInDance | “It’s a little bit like the ‘X-Files,’” said the choreographer @johnheginbotham of the narrative in “Fantasque,” a collaboration with the puppeteer Amy Trompetter. “There is a continual story to the whole series, but then sometimes there are rogue monster episodes that have nothing to do with forwarding the plot. That’s what’s happening here.” “Fantasque,” which shows at @nyuskirball from November 17-18, is a tale of morality, featuring a baby and a devil; the devil corrupts the world and exiles the baby. “Then there is a redemption,” John said. The joyful finale, set to music by Respighi and captured here, reminds the dancer @lindzoidjones of the “flowy freedom” of #IsadoraDuncan. John thinks of the dancers in “Fantasque” as figures in the natural world. They’re “a benevolent community,” he told the #nytimes writer @giadk. “Throughout the evening, they give us love.” @angelo_vasta made this video for #SpeakingInDance, our weekly series exploring the world of #dance.
The narrative of Fantasque has its origins in a collage of stories and myths. Bertha the Broadfoot (aka Perchta the Goosefoot aka Mother Goose) is both a historical figure and a goddess of Norse Mythology.
The Hard Facts of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales lays out the basics of Bertha (106-108).
Heroes and Heroines of Fiction dives into the false Mother Goose from Boston, and how a French Queen became a German goddess (126-128).
Bonus: an account of a Bertha ghost-sighting in a German castle from 1889 (572-575).
But Bertha wasn’t the only source material for Fantasque. Dance Heginbotham cites inspiration from the Ballet Russes’ 1919 production of La Boutique Fantasque (The Fantastic Toyshop). Written by Ottorino Respighi and based on piano pieces by Gioachino Rossini, the orchestrations were adapted for this production.