Esmeralda & Gringoire, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Gringoire, La Esmeralda, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

The order of how the story plays outs in La Esmeralda is baffling. It’s near insulting to the original story. Who in their right mind puts a scene that is Quasimodo’s grand introduction halfway through the story? At least that is what I thought at first.

Quasimodo as The Pope of Fools, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Quasimodo as The Pope of Fools, Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Yes, it’s an odd choice to have key scenes like the kidnap attempt and the Pope of Fool to unfold out of sequence however it’s a ballet so the story can’t follow as rigidly to have the same dramatic flow of the book or movies.  The more I thought about the order of  the scenes as they appear in this Ballet the more I relived that the second act was lacking in context. There was more dramatic performance but they needed to pad out the runtime. This why that Greek myth segment was a major focus in the second act and why I think the Pope of Fools was at the start of second act. I think dramatic flow was the reason behind the switch of Esmeralda’s marriage to Gringoire and the kidnap attempt.   

   

Esmeralda & Phoebus, La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow picture image

Esmeralda & Phoebus, La Esmeralda Kremlin Ballet Company, Moscow

Now I could be wrong, I know nothing about Ballets but the strategies for adapting a book into a ballets are different from movies or third-rate kid videos  based on better movies based on depressing French literature from the 1830s. I would say that the switching of the scenes is evident of the adaptation strategies employed by the creator(s) of La Esmeralda. So  while I may disagree with the choice in theory, I understand why they rearranged the story.   

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