While cinematic romcoms regularly tell of two people meeting, separating, then comically working the whole thing out, and romantic books delve into the quieter spaces of a relationship, a romantic ballet takes a different, and sometimes fuller, tack: The romance told through movement is all about lushness and beauty and dramatic emotions expressed by a longing look or a coquettish pirouette.
The Los Angeles Ballet will present four of the "world's most romantic ballets" during its highly atmospheric, tulle-soft, grand-of-theme 2015-2016 season, a season that opens with one of the most quintessential and influential of the heart-stirring ballets, "Giselle."
There is intense love, there are supernatural elements, there are painful partings and necessary forgivings and the full stew of heightened flirtation, all played out by sublime dancers in painting-worthy costumes against museum-ready settings.
Such is the romantic way, in ballet.
And, like a ballerina executing some astounding leaps, "Giselle" will bound across the city, from the ocean to Glendale to Westwood in the course of a few weeks.
More deeply detailed and prettily presented stories are to come over the season. "The Nutcracker" follows "Giselle" -- you've not only heard of it, you now likely have "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" in your head for the remainder of the day, after reading this -- and "Don Quixote" and "Romeo and Juliet" are the fanciful fare come 2016.
It's true that movies and books can dominate the arena of amour, at least in fiction, but ballet can go one better than both of those: Dance is the narrator, and music, costuming, performance, and design provide the chorus. It's a fresh (if venerable) way to enjoy tales that the cinema and novels revisit often.