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NYCB Vol. 10 No. 26 - The Concert

Did you know, the backdrops for Robbins' The Concert are based on La Scala in Milan, Italy? (swipe for the comparison and see how many details are the same!)

One thing I love is that this comedic ballet Is that before any dancing occurs, it begins with a visual joke. As you sit as an audience in a theater, you're looking at an illustration of an audience in a theater. And whats on the stage in that theater? Another theater! The joke is three layers deep and sets the tone for the rest of the slightly surreal ballet.

And did you ever notice the beginning and ending backdrops are different? In fact they are OPPOSITE. The first one gives the audience the perspective of being an audience looking at a stage. The second one gives the audience the perspective of being onstage and looking out into the audience. From the beginning of the ballet to the end, the perspective has been rotated by 180 degrees. When the dancers on stage begin, they are the entertainment. When the dancers sit down in their chairs at the end, they face out to us, the real life audience, as if to say, "Your turn! Now the show can really begin. It's your turn to entertain us with your foibles and imaginations." And just like the dancers entertained us with the common tropes of a theater-going audience, when the house lights come up for intermission, the real life audience will animate once again and unwittingly partake in the same theater cliches that they just watched on stage.

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