The Green Table

I am a balletomane. I like it best among the human arts, it's better than plays & it's better than music. It's arguably the music video "LIVE" centuries before the T.V. & it survives because it is a hard taskmaster, demanding & unforgiving... it tells the world's simplest truest stories in a language everyone can understand regardless of their language as long as they can hear the music & see the dance. There is a poignant ballet from the 1930's that I saw many years ago, here in Richmond. The Name is the "Green Table" by Jooss. It's theme is war & it doesn't choose sides.

"Lasting about 30 minutes and subtitled "A dance of death in eight scenes," The Green Table is a commentary on the futility of war and the horrors it causes. It opens with a group of diplomats (the Gentlemen in Black, portrayed by the other characters in the piece, with the exception of Death) having a discussion around a rectangular table covered with a green cloth. They end up pulling guns from their pockets and shooting in the air, thus symbolizing the declaration of war.
The next six scenes portray different aspects of wartime: the separation from loved ones in The Farewells, war itself in The Battle and The Partisan, loneliness and misery in The Refugees, the emotional void and the atmosphere of forced entertainment in The Brothel and, finally, the psychologically beaten and wounded survivors in The Aftermath. The ballet then ends as it began, with the "Gentlemen in Black" around the green table.

Throughout these episodes the figure of Death is triumphant, portrayed as a skeleton moving in a forceful and robot-like way, relentlessly claiming its victims. The dance ends with a repeat of the opening scene, a device the choreographer uses to show his mistrust in the talks of the diplomats; completely indifferent to the ravages of war, they continue their hypocritical negotiations." ~ wiki

 

Enjoy & think about the real costs of civil war.

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Comments (19)

  1. Bettymom

    Unusual …

    April 20, 2017
    1. Munkyman

      Watch it, it’s very good… if you can put it on your T.V., it’s worth the effort.

      April 20, 2017
  2. noahbody

    Ballet is not for me.

    April 20, 2017
    1. Munkyman

      It’s not for everyone

      April 20, 2017
      1. noahbody

        Indeed…

        April 20, 2017
        1. Munkyman

          I had season tickets for 1/2 a decade. I’d get them again if I had anyone to go with. The dancers I liked back them have come back to lead the troupe as the directors.

          April 20, 2017
          1. noahbody

            Cool. They have been promoted.

            April 20, 2017
            1. Munkyman

              They went away to Germany to dance, they came back to teach when their productive dancing years were done. I got to watch them for 4&1/2 years as they matured to a perfect couple on the stage. We got them from Russia right after the wall fell.

              April 20, 2017
          2. noahbody

            really cool!

            April 20, 2017
  3. funfreak

    Oh, dear. You should never have introduced this as a ballet. It confuses people. The arts reflect our culture, the arch of our ideas, our creativity and our intelligence. Bet that NRA video gets more “likes”. It’s a real commentary on Americans. It’s why Europeans think of us in trivialized terms.

    April 20, 2017
    1. Munkyman

      It is what it is, our local ballet gets no money from the National Endowment & we don’t have it as a nation to spend. When it was created states & municipalities didn’t support the arts. Now they do, through many avenues.

      April 20, 2017
      1. funfreak

        Well, it’s what you value. I was a teacher. When budgets got crunched, they took away the arts programs and the after-school programs. But when they threatened to cut back on the athletic program, the parents went bat-shit crazy! Not athletics! Well…..we ended up with a lot of dumb jocks who got college scholarships to play basketball and football and our art and music students lost out. And now our athletes are doing what our artists have done throughout the centuries….they are speaking out politically. And it’s pissing off those supporters who think they’re just dumb jocks who should just shut up and play. Perspective can be everything, especially when it’s married to opinion.

        April 20, 2017
        1. Munkyman

          I’d cut athletics from the high schools all together, gym class is what we pay for & that’s enough given the budget issues. Perspective & opinion are nothing without principles & facts.

          April 20, 2017
          1. funfreak

            Perspective and opinion are what got this president elected….not principles and facts. So I disagree there. And investing in our youth is everything. Their going to be running things when you’re in your sixties and hoping for creative solutions to the economic problems we’ll be facing then. In addition to that, those cutbacks or eliminations allow only people of means to provide those cultural experiences for kids. If you think only wealthy people’s offspring should have access to music education, art, film and theater, then you’re making the class divide even greater. Maybe we could do without another MOAB’s?

            April 20, 2017
            1. funfreak

              They’re….not their. LOL!

              April 20, 2017
            2. Munkyman

              frustration & desperation elected him… that’s what makes this all so damned dangerous/ We’ve got anger & desperation rubbing together & sparking.

              April 20, 2017
            3. Munkyman

              Stop trying to put words in my mouth, art & music don’t require large budgets to provide.

              April 20, 2017
            4. Munkyman

              There are no creative solutions to economic hardship, it’s always the same, tighten the belt & learn to do more with less. Do more & buy less.

              April 20, 2017
            5. Munkyman

              there is one creative solution, but it always involves taking what you need/want from others.

              April 20, 2017