Duran Duran Ballet? Duran Duran Musical?

Yes, that’s right.  I did say something about Duran Duran and ballet and Duran Duran and a musical.  This week, a couple of news articles popped up about exactly that.  The first article on billboard.com, which you can read here, focused on more than just ballet and musicals, but also mentioned American politics, interestingly enough.  The Contact Music article just summarized the Billboard article as did the NME article.  So, what is all this about and what do I think about it?  Let’s take one at a time.

Ballet

According to the Billboard article, the ballet is being developed from a song that was left off the album, Paper Gods.  I can totally see this as there are many tracks on that album that seem like long productions.  I’m thinking here of the opening and title track as well as songs like “Only in Dreams”.  Those seem to have many parts to them and a potential story line of sorts.  The original song, according to the quote from Nick Rhodes, was a “straightforward pop song.”  Apparently, the goal would be to expand it and to include another person in the piece, specifically a female.  This makes me think that the original song was about one person, a man.

Why are they doing this?  Nick mentioned how much they like the ballet, especially the one in London and the imagery that goes along with it.  I admit it.  This fascinates me.  While I know next to nothing about ballet and have never been to a professional one, I have seen college dance performances and many high school ones.  I think dance is a fascinating creative outlet and really do love the idea that one Duran Duran song could be expanded to become a full ballet performance in which a story is told solely through the music and the dance.  That’s pretty awesome!

The Musical

While the ballet news was brand new to me, the idea that Nick and John have been working on a musical isn’t a new one.  I have been hearing about this one for a while now.  The idea, from what I understand from the article, is that it will be set in the “art world”.  I assume then that the characters will be artists or people who work at art galleries or art buyers.  Nick said that they will be working on it in March and plan on finishing the first draft then.  He also commented about how different it is to work on versus working on a regular Duran Duran album.  That does not surprise me.  I would think it would be.  I compare it to the writing that Rhonda and I do.  We write here on the blog and that is very different than the writing that was done on our book or even the writing that we need to do on book proposals.  Each type of artistic project would require different skills, perspectives, creativity.

As for what I think about this one, like the ballet, I’m terribly fascinated.  I might be even more interested in this one simply because I love the idea that Nick and John would have to write the storyline, including plot, characterization, dialogue, stage directions, etc. as well as the music involved.  I like the focus on the art world as that is a world and culture that really interests me (having an artistic mother probably helps).  Plus, I love art and art galleries/museums.  Beyond the setting, I absolutely LOVE that they are pushing to expand themselves in this way.  They aren’t content to just sit back and rest during breaks but are still working, still being creative.  To me, doing extra projects like this can only help them get more creative when they work on Duran Duran.  It could bring them new life and new energy when they go back to work on Duran Duran material.  I know that there are fans out there who think that they should only be focused on Duran Duran music.  I disagree.  They should be able to do other projects.  They should be able to express themselves in different ways.  I know, from my own life, that if I just had to focus on teaching, I would suffocate.  Likewise, if I just focused on politics or on fandom, I would feel the same.  Like myself, John and Nick are complex people with a variety of interests and passions.  Let’s encourage them to embrace ALL of who they are and ALL of what they feel creative about.

What do the rest of you think?  Are you looking forward to their ballet and/or their musical?

-A

3 thoughts on “Duran Duran Ballet? Duran Duran Musical?”

  1. Speaking as someone who did 12 years of serious ballet training I would absolutely love seeing a Duran ballet. Ballets are stories spoken in dance as opposed to words. I was described as a very floaty graceful dancer. Obviously most of Duran songs in their original format may and I say may as I have not composed a ballet score would probably not work. However I only have to think of a Fatal Kiss and that is hauntingly beautiful and would be lovely to dance to. So with a little bit of tweaking I could see many Duran songs could really be used. The difficulty is that a song is 50% music 50% lyrics, and taking the lyrics out to convey what the song is about through dance moves or an instrument. I can really see John and Nick nailing it. They no doubt in my mind to have the vision, the ability to do it. We all know they are very cultured. I’m sure it would bring a different type of fan into the world of Duran and that is good. Of course I for one would go and see it.
    A musical on the other hand is told through words, dance and music. The obvious choice I think of for writing a musical is Simon. He’s a modern day poet, and I am sure he could write the script for the speaking parts easily. He has the ability to make it funny, sad a love story or what ever the direction. I’m sure he wud be a master of a soliloquy.
    I could see both really working out very well and I am one for sure will be keeping my ear to the ground for hopefully exciting news.

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited…at least not since the reunion, and that’s really saying something for me, co-Daily Duranie writer. 🙂

    My oldest is in college right now, and her major is dance. She is planning to be a choreographer – which isn’t too surprising given that she’s already being hired to work with our local high schools on their musicals (yes, I’m bragging. She’s been dancing since she was about 2 and competed for many years before attending a performing arts school and now college. Do the math. I earned the right to brag a bit. :D) But that background has certainly prepared me for whatever Nick manages to throw our way for the ballet (the more outrageous the better!)…and definitely for whatever may come from writing the musical as well.

    Like Amanda, I look forward to staying updated and writing more about this as we hear more.

    At least it isn’t a re-recording of Hungry Like the Wolf, just saying. 😉 -R

  3. None of these projects surprises me. If you are a generally creative person in whatever way, it only stifles your creativity (as well as driving you nuts!) if you just stick to doing one thing.

    When listening to The Chauffeur I have often imagined someone performing ballet to it, the same with Faith In This Colour, I can often picture someone dancing.

    I would love to see how both of these projects turn out!

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