Ballet on Halloween – treats, style, shoes & ballet!
The folklore surrounding the annual Halloween celebration, on October 31st, links it to the Celtic festival of Samhain, which roughly means ‘summer’s end’ though it’s origins have also been associated with the Roman feast of Pomona (goddess of fruits and seeds). The name itself, Halloween, is a Scottish vaiant of All-Hallows-Even – the night before All Hallows Day. The tradition of carving pumpkins is a way of remembering lost souls (initially they used turnips, which were much smaller and harder to carve). If you want to meet a witch, legend has it that you must put your clothes on inside out and walk backwards on Halloween night. Black and orange are the traditional colours of Halloween.
If you have an iPhone, Apple has an app just for carving pumpkins – called Carve It. It’s suitable for children aged 3+ and they carve out the pumpkin with their finger and then light the candle inside.
Besides the ubiquitous pumpkin (soup, pie etc) there are other foods associated with Halloween such as Colcannon (Ireland), toffee apples, roasted sweetcorn and Barmbrack (Ireland : báirín breac –a bread with sultanas and raisins). Kellogg’s has some Coconut Ghosts you can make.
If you’re going to be out and about, witching it up about town or at the ballet, leaving mayhem in your wake, do it in red shoes. These red shoes.
From TopShop, they’ll set you back £50 but you’ll blaze a red-hot trail around town.
This cream lace dress is classy with a slight hint of lawlesness, again from Topshop and £75.
Top it off with a purple marabou bomber at £75 and you’re ready to party.
I couldn’t resist this dotty ballet bag in Dalmation print, again from on-the-money TopShop for £25.
If you’re headed to the ballet on Halloween, this outfit will also serve you very well. There are plenty of ballets with themes akin to Halloween; ghostly Giselle and her spooky Wili sisters, the National Ballet of China’s Raise the Red Lantern with it’s beautifully lit lanterns (carving jack-o’-lanterns is also popular at Halloween) and the tradition of playing pranks is represented in La Fille mal gardee where endless characters play jokes on one another (Lise on her mother/the harvesters on Alain, for example).
In April 2007 The Royal Danish Ballet presented the World Premiere of Kim Brandstrup’s Ghosts, subtitled five studies in musical phrasing. Made for Principal dancers Thomas Lund and Gudrun Bojesen and members of the company, the title refers to the way that Brandstrup feels he is haunted by people and styles who have influenced his work.
The Sleeping Beauty is another ballet with references to Halloween with it’s trick or treating. The forgotten fairy Carabosse tricks her way into Princess Aurora’s party and causes havoc with her henchmen. The Sleeping Beauty is currently in rep at The Royal Ballet.
Here’s a look behind the scenes.
The fairies in The Sleeping Beauty never had liquorice wands, but you can ! My favourite ever sweet shop – and it’s online – is A Quarter of. The owners of this sweet emporium constantly scour the globe to add to their already extensive collection of all those sweets you loved as a child and haven’t been able to find ever since. They even come in the same little paper bags! Dip Dabs, anyone ?
If you are trick or treating on the big night, there is a special Halloween section ready and waiting for you!
Happy dancing Halloween everyone !