Our story begins...

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is just like kind you read

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It is a summary of the story.


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In Extremis

The Ballet Story

The Ballet Story


Writing & Art
Rebecca Alzofon

The Creatures of Prometheus op. 43
Ludwig van Beethoven

Choreography, Sets, Costumes and Lighting
Rebecca Alzofon...
...in collaboration with your imagination

Original ballet concept copyright 1992 by Rebecca Alzofon. All rights reserved.
WWW production copyright

Act I

ur story begins in a place where

there is little left from the Early Time.

It is dawn in an upper middle class American

town surrounded by other urban townships.

Everywhere, there is asphalt and stucco. The

scent of exhaust permeates the air. Commuter

traffic clogs streets once designed for another

way of life. Children dressed in designer

sportswear are dropped off at school.

Businessmen and -women, making important

phone calls, are rushing to the office: It's just

another day.

But within this town there is a very special

place - an almost forgotten place. Right in the

center of this town there is a sanctuary. Here,

there is a spacious and graceful woodland.

Wild creatures populate the land in healthy

numbers. Daffodils dot the vast fields in spring.

In winter, dewy meadows glisten in cool

daylight. Lush patches of tender miner's lettuce

pad the forest floor. The air is sweet with the

scent of wild vegetation, and sometimes, on

special mornings, a gentle mist nestles low

over the fields.

Here too, it is just another day. It is a bustling

wood, full of harmony, where like in town,

we find life's joys and challenges played out.

The birds and other animals of the land arise,

bathe and tend to their work. Dangers lurk in

some corners; but with the watchful care of

parents and friends, the creatures maintain

their safety. They endeavor to work and play,

to eat and sleep, and to mate and raise their

young and keep out of danger's way.

There is something else about this place: It is

filled with spirits. Because the human Stewards

of the spiritual life guarded the sanctuary since

the Early Time, there still thrives within,

a great community of rare nymphs, sylphs and

gnomes. In all their variety, they still appear

here in ancient procession. It is a great privilege

to witness their dance, and hear their song,

unchanged from the beginning of Time.

To think that we can still enjoy their delicate

beauty, the same celebrated by the ancient

Greeks! But only by the careful observer can

they be seen.

For the most part, the town's people hardly

notice the forest setting side by side with them.

Giving hardly a glance, they pass it daily. But

unbeknownst to them, its good spirits have

infiltrated their lives and give them solace just

by being there.

... And so it is that our first hero enters and

discovers the beauty of the ancient oak forest

whose spirits capture his heart and change his

life forever. When he fears they might leave

him, he is reassured by each of the spirits in a

touching ceremonial promise of eternal love.

See & Read this scene at the Paris Opera, Opening Night.

Act II

We return to our hero in the woods where he is

joined by friends, and in the company of forest

nymphs, they joyously dance and play. Just

then, three figures approach. Our hero and his

friends hide to witness the beginning of a

terrible turn of events. Aghast, they watch the

developer's assistant stake and mark, while

nymphs writhe in shock and terror. Dragging at

his fine tailored suit, more nymphs are unfelt by

the developer as he discusses sewer lines and

utility poles. The Head Steward averts his eyes

in painful shame, shunning desperate nymphs'

offerings and pleas. As the only witness to their

betrayal, our first hero vows to stop the plan to

pave the ancient forest.

In town, and under the concerned watch of

sylphs, the plan to save the last piece of Nature

is quickly complicated by special interests.

Bickering and posturing destroy unity, while

desperate fear of losing the land leads the

community headlong into muddy bogs of

political red tape. When the time finally comes

for the public to speak at the City Council

Chambers, they discover hanky-panky between

the developer and the planning commission.

Outraged, the people realize their battle cannot

be won by popular sentiment. It seems the only

issue is who controls the purse strings.


easons pass. The battle to save the

land remains at a shaky standoff. The land, still

unchanged, continues to support wildlife and

sometimes the spirits forget their woes long

enough to enjoy their ancient dances in the

company of townspeople. One dance is

interrupted by a contingent from town who offer

part of the land in appeasement. But this turns

out to be an insulting snippet, flouting the

community's intent to save all the land. In

another outdoor dance, the townspeople are

galvanized by the words of a new hero. And

meantime a politician from across town converts

to a conservationist stance - but are his reasons


Failed efforts to stop the development lead to

what may be our nymphs' final day on earth.

The money never materialized. The Stewards

never considered alternate possibilities. Now the

bulldozers are poised. Stripped of all power but

sheer human feeling, the townspeople position

themselves to resist. Inconsolable, the forest

spirits say their goodbyes and prepare for death.

In the end, who will win: the forces of money or

the power of love for a beautiful haven from the

Early Time?

The End

I am in a position to investigate this proposal

Has this ballet been proposed to anyone yet?


More from the book reading experience:


As the winds blow over town...


For my father, who understands

Prelude Story

This day, in this land...


Dear [Artistic Director]...

Return to Entry Page for Ballet Proposal

You are in Proposals in the Idea Library

Also in the Idea Library:

Explanatory Comments

Study Collection

Museum Notes

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Entrances: | Studio | Alzofon Art Institute | Guest Wing, Link Room | Idea Library | Academy |

Rebecca Alzofon can be e-mailed at rebecca@art.net
This page created: August 19, 1996