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.
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!
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?