I’m not that keen on dance. Usually I’ll run a mile at the merest whiff of a dance receital. Actually, I don’t go to the opera that much either. But look at this, from David McVicar’s Glyndebourne production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare:
I know it’s wrong (surely you aren’t meant to be able to swing your hips to Handel), but how can something so good not be right? So George Frideric may not have realised he was writing a cabaret, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t.
And this isn’t even the best bit (Cleo’s opening scene when she kicks Ptolemy’s butt is great). Though Danielle de Niese (Cleopatra) may not be the best singer in this rather spiffy production (only because the competition is fierce), but she’s an amazing performer.
It’s a bit like parsnips in soup. Dance in opera can not only be palatable, but rather tasty.