Aslan on Stage (Part III)

The medium of dance calls for a different approach to the character. In the ballet version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the characters do not speak and convey motion only with their bodies. This AslanĀ  has a more catlike costume, but one that can let him move freely, at least as well as he can with that oversized lion headpiece. Then again, most Nutcrackers and Rat Kings dance competently despite the bulkiness of their getups. Aslan’s tail is long and free, allowing it to lash and twirl around when he dances.

This Aslan dancer is more stylized, with bare legs and feet, fur around his wrists, neck, and head, and a superhero-like costume. (Well, Aslan IS a superhero of a sort.) The tattoos are likely the dancer’s.

Another dynamic Aslan dancer, with three dryads, a leopardess, and an eagle behind him.

There are variations in staging even in the world of dance. This version of the ballet was a street / hip hop one, with sneakers, braids, and sweatpants for Aslan as he battles The White Witch.

As with play versions, some directors judge it better to have Aslan represented by a puppet. Here some dancers are putting him through his paces during practice. The wire and silk construction ensures he won’t be too heavy to carry.

How the puppet worked in the Stone Table scene. The dancers around the table I guess to be the hags, haunts, and werewolves of the story, the evil crowd. But here it’s obvious they’re played by dancers who were in previous scenes, wearing baggy black robes to disguise the costumes they can’t change in and out of. Aslan seems to be giving them a skeptical look. “Really? Is that the best you can do?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.