Monday, 15 February 2016
The Tale of Olympia
My next brief essay on dance adaptation is going to be on the ballet Coppélia (1870), loosely based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s tale “The Sandman” (1816). Hoffmann’s work has inspired another famous ballet, Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov’ The Nutcracker (1892) and various other artworks. Among them, there is Jacques Offenbach’s opera, The Tales of Hoffmann (1851), where the writer himself is the protagonist who recounts three stories, all based on Hoffmann’s stories. It is a beautiful work which has been turned into a film in 1951, with a dazzling Moira Shearer as Stella/Olympia. Here she is in the variation from “The Tale of Olympia”, the first of the three stories. The singer is Dorothy Bond.