Most conjure up Disney’s Movies when they hear Beauty and the Beast.
The Walt Disney Company has become synonymous with success world wide, but first kindly keep in perspective that its marketing power in Modern Western Culture has almost obliterated the ability to learn otherwise.
Please understand, I love Walt Disney and most Disney products. I’ve yet to finish reading this 1966 Children’s Biography published by Grosset & Dunlap, In & Rutledge Books, Inc. What I’ve read so far reinforce my admiration for Walt. He inspires and encourages others to heal and grow through what all the great composers and artists did: the performing and visual arts.
What I don’t like is how some limit their views of the world through their first understanding and impression of something. I suppose that’s why I wrote about it in my book Rojo The Baby Red Panda at the Zoo.
James Deutsh wrote in the Smithsonian in March of 2017 eloquently on the world history behind this classic tale of Beauty and the Beast. This story has circulated the world orally throughout time the same as various versions of Cinderella, Snow White and others. Montgomery, Alabama recently had the pleasure of hosting A Korean Cinderella through AKeep.
These stories are classics world wide because we as humans share a terrible condition of a propensity to serve self at the expense of others. Much time and attention must be spent cultivating fine character in youngsters. It is through these stories that one can learn what true love is and how to lead a family, tribe, or kingdom.
Books and movies didn’t always exist. Many where masters at passing history, teaching, and morals through oral story telling. I dare to say that in our narcissistic attention deficit culture of me centered thinking, fast food, and pushing of electronic buttons that we’ve become foolishly arrogant towards cultures and history of the past. Perhaps we could stand to learn some lessons from the beast. Well there’s a great opportunity March 1-3, 2019 at the Davis Theater to do just that here in Montgomery, Alabama. Even better is the venue.
First allow me to shed some back ground on this particular version of Beauty and the Beast. Sara Sandford is a former student and now teacher at Alabama Dance Theater. She choreographed all the dances to be performed by mostly local students at ADT. More importantly is how she teaches and instructs. “Beauty from within” is the slogan that was handed out to each dancer with a mirror illustrating a photo of their performance buddy rather than a reflection to self to preoccupy with.
Mirrors are funny. They can serve as a means to overly dwell on one’s appearances. Or they can serve as a way to direct our attention to clean a milk mustache, see that the dress doesn’t look good, or tame a wild hair causing unnecessary distraction or attention to self. They are very important in dance. The instant feedback helps each dancer to discipline their body parts to conform to each move they’re trying to complete.
What I’ve come to love about ADT is this culture in which they teach the children. Respect, manners, and discipline dictate in a way that fosters encouragement to the youngest and most unlikely student of dance. This is what the performing and visual arts are supposed to be about: uplifting the downtrodden human spirit and encouraging it to grow beyond self-centered pity.
So, take an opportunity to reflect on the deep messages and lessons to be learned from ADT’s Beauty and the Beast. And enjoy the fantastic costumes and dancing.
–Hope Mucklow, author of Rojo the Baby Red Panda at the Zoo, song writer, and blogger at www.hopetheparenttecher.com February 21, 2019 #ADT #Montgomery #Beautyandthebeast #Oraltradition #teachwell #dance #narcissism #Davistheater #truelove