In 2014 the National Opera of Bordeaux, in conjunction with Theatre du Capitole, staged a performance of Rameau‘s Les Indes Galantes, first written in 1735. Rameau might not have envisaged it being staged, despite part of it being set in the Garden of Eden, with several nude dancers, and a renowned soprano, Amel Brahim-Djelloul, singing a role in a diaphanous dress that meant she may as well have been nude too.
You can watch the entire performance of the first act on youtube.
Believe it or not, I chanced upon this (opera not exactly being my thing), while doing a search for one of the first pop records I ever remember knowing and liking, Haircut 100’s ‘Love plus One’, which came out when I was, er, five! :). A big hit in the UK, but if you’re elsewhere, it’ll maybe not mean anything to you.
…I started doing some research, and discovered that ‘nude opera’, or nude dance, is actually a bit of ‘a thing’, much more common than I would ever have imagined.
In the sense that it opens my eyes to a world hitherto alien to me (I like classical music, I listen to it regularly in the car, but I’m not so enthusiastic for classical music with voices in it) and it’s a world I’m now exploring for SLN, on the basis that the nude body, carried into the theatre or opera house, further normalises nudity in settings where I would previously said it wasn’t familiar but, following some research, discover it’s more familiar than I’d have imagined.
I guess we all thing of classical music, or opera, as the domain of a certain class of people, and that the idea of naked people on stage is likely to be something having them reaching for the smelling salts. On the contrary, it would appear that an opera audience have possibly a greater chance of encountering nudity in the theatre than a rock music audience.
I want to explore the world of nude dance more thoroughly, and report back on it.
I know that Canary Beck’s Basilique sim staged Milton’s Paradise Lost within SL, something that featured nudity (as with Rameau’s opera, part of it is also set in the Garden of Eden). You can watch Canary Beck’s version, for free, via her website.
Margaret performs some ballet moves at the Basilique sim
note: despite the production of the ballet, the sim is not naturist. Margaret only disrobed when she knew there was no one else on the sim at the same time, so as not to cause offence to others who may have complied with the sim’s dress code. As with all other sims in SL, please act responsibly regarding nudity and comply with any dress codes in place while around others. Otherwise, our rules are similar to the old zen question of ‘if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a noise?’ On that basis, SLN would regard naturism or nude activity as perfectly acceptable.
It’s a marvellous watch and shows what is achievable within SL if people drag themselves out of the sex and shopping sims to do something worthwhile.