The Appeal of the Gothic | Charles Palliser

Now that Halloween is here, we will be invited to frighten ourselves with scary masks and terrifying movies. Why? How is it that fear – the primitive defense mechanism that warns us to fight or flee when faced with danger – can be pleasurable? And yet that paradoxical wish to be frightened is as ancient as narrative art itself. From Grendel lumbering murderously out of the darkness in the eighth century poem "Beowulf," through the tales recorded by the Grimms and down to our own age, storytellers have catered to our desire to be made fearful.

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Matthew Bourne Bites Into ‘Sleeping Beauty’ –

First shown in London this past December, "Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty: A Gothic Romance," now at City Center here, is a brisk staging that features sundry, savvy references to the ballet traditions established by Peter Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa when their "Sleeping Beauty" was first shown in 1890 St. Petersburg. Mr. Bourne’s vivid update is a prime example of the imagination and originality that have marked the British-born choreographer’s "dance productions"—as he chooses to call them—since the first one in 1987.

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