Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Pippi Longstocking: The Ballet

The Royal Opera in Stockholm will host the world premiere of Pippi Longstocking: the ballet beginning May 12.

Naturally, Pippi refuses to stay within the strict rules of classical ballet. While straight-laced, respectable citizens around her dance en pointe, Pippi alternates between street dance, folk dance and jitterbug.

"Most ballets staged at the opera are the classics, where the ladies are delightful and lifted by strong men. Here we had to turn all of that upside down," choreographer Par Isberg told Reuters.

Astrid Lindgren and her place in literary history are also discussed in this Reuters story. A new Astrid Lindgren museum is going to open in 2007.

In Sweden, Pippi has played an huge role in the emancipation of women, said Ebba Witt-Brattstrom, professor of literature and co-founder of the Feminist Initiative, a new political party which may contest parliamentary elections next year.

In the 1940s it was very rare for the hero of a story to be a girl, and here was one who could challenge and win against any boy. Even today boys still by far outnumber the girls in children's books, Witt-Brattstrom said.

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