25 February 2016 at 11.19am | 4 Comments
For choreographer Liam Scarlett, the story of Frankenstein is about more than the monster that has become so iconic in pop culture:
‘People have a very stereotypical view of what they want they presume Frankenstein to be and actually I don’t think many people really know the heart and soul of the story’, says the choreographer, who has created a new full-length ballet adaptation, opening in May 2016. ‘It’s essentially about love.’
Liam's adaptation of Mary Shelley’s iconic Gothic novel is his first full-length piece for the Royal Opera House main stage, and the choreographer sees the title character very much as a child, looking to a parent for guidance:
'He's like an infant — he can't speak and can't figure out how to walk. He's desperately seeking a parent or loved one to take him through the world and teach him all these things. He's an incredibly vulnerable creature who is shunned by his creator.'
The Royal Ballet's new production is set at the end of the 18th Century, at the time in which Shelley wrote the novel. As Liam explains, it was a time in history full of scientific advances, which re-shaped our understanding of the world:
‘The Romantic ideals were being thrown out and it was the dawn of science, a crossover period where confusions and tensions run high.’
‘There’s always been an easy dance quality about his music’, says the choreographer. ‘I listen to it and steps really pop into my mind.'
Liam is confident that audiences will respond to his reading of the tale:
‘I think the best pieces of art are ones that say something enough but also give room for interpretation', he gleams. 'I want people to feel something when they watch the work.’
Watch more films like this on the Royal Opera House YouTube channel:
The production is a co-production with San Francisco Ballet and is generously supported by The Monument Trust, The Taylor Family Foundation, Sarah and Lloyd Dorfman, Simon and Virginia Robertson, Will and Beth Gardiner, Karl and Holly Peterson, The Shauna Gosling Trust, The Constance Travis Charitable Trust, The American Friends of Covent Garden, the Frankenstein Production Syndicate, Bently Foundation, The Hellman Family and E. L. Wiegand Foundation.
Frankenstein will be live in cinemas around the world on 18 May 2016. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list.