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Some Kind of Monster

It’s Frankenstein: the ballet.


A curious fact about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is that the novel totally glosses over the creature’s creation scene. Is it a bolt of lightning that does the trick, as in the 1931 film adaptation? Or a series of steampunk jumper cables, as in Kenneth Branagh’s 1994 version? Or simply the flip of a switch, as in Mel Brooks’s Young Frankenstein?

The answer isn’t in the book—perhaps that’s one of the reasons the classic keeps getting brought back to life every few years. The San Francisco Ballet will have its turn this month, telling the story in dance as it presents the North American premiere of Frankenstein, a coproduction with the Royal Ballet in London, from February 17 to 26. Liam Scarlett, the 30-year-old artist in residence at the Royal Ballet, choreographed the piece, which adheres closely to the 1818 novel. It’s alive!

Originally published in the February issue of San Francisco 

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