About Strange Bird and the Cloud Spirits

On October 5, 1789, starving fishwives took to the streets of Paris instigating The March on Versailles, which heralded the beginnings of the French Revolution: stopping off to ransack the Hôtel de Ville to adorn their skirts with weapons. The aristocratic male that dominated the Paris Opera was no more, giving rise to the ballerina who represented freedom, spirituality, and the revolution…

“Strange Bird and the Cloud Spirits” reimagines Romantic ballet, specifically referencing the ballet “Giselle”, and the woman behind the character of Myrtha, the Queen of the Wilis. The sylphs (called Wilis in “Giselle”) are a common theme in Romantic ballet often referred to as the “white ballet”. The sylph represented an ethereal space, but was merely one aspect within the genre known as Ballet Fantastique. It was common to include real-world scenarios, paired with monstrous, bizarre, or otherworldly characters and places, as well as utilize pantomime and gestures. This ballet takes Ballet Fantastique, and puts it in a modern context.

For Myrtha (aka “Strange Bird”) there is the journey of the grief-filled soul from denial to acceptance, that leads toward a communal grief, and perhaps eventually to revolution.