Friday, February 18, 2011

Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun

            However, not all forms of art reflected society’s transformation into a giant machine so clearly. In Vaslav Nijinsky’s Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun ballet, the dancing is very modern, a large contrast from the traditional, classical ballet of the previous decades.
The faun’s movements are jerky in some places, and he flexes his hands and feet to demonstrate animalistic tendencies. Although he may not be paralleling a machine per se, his motions are certainly not human. Some of the twitching could be interpreted as the tick of a machine. The faun’s pas de deux with the nymph differs greatly from pas de deuxs of classical ballets of the past, such as Swan Lake or Coppélia. The faun dances overtly sensual and although he is a male, he does not play his role as being particularly masculine, in fact, it seems rather feminine. This femininity in dance relates back to Maria’s dance in Metropolis and can further relate to the artwork of Tamara de Lempicka and the Art Deco movement.

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