This week's ballet is a different kind of ballet.......one you probably haven't heard of. The Jungle Book is a beautiful fairytale story told through dance.
The ballet opens in the thick jungle of India, where a panther named Bagheera is roaming the premises. He comes across an abandoned boat, and finds a small baby inside. Taking pity on the baby, he takes him to a family of wolves that adopt the man-cub, named Mowgli.
Ten years go by, and Mowgli has adapted to being a wolf, despite his differences. Word goes buzzing through the jungle that Shere Khan has been spotted, and everyone runs for cover. The wolf pack knows of Shere Khan's hatred for man, so they decide to send Badheera to take Mowgli to the nearest man-village, which happens to be quite far away.
They set out on their journey in the middle of the night, and fall asleep in a tree. They are soon interrupted by Kaa, a python who tries to hypnotize them both, before being pushed out of the tree by Mowgli.
In the morning, Bagheera and Mowgli are woken up by "The Dawn Patrol", a brutal and brawny pack of elephants, leg by the even more brutal and brawny Colonel Hathi. Mowgli plays with his son, and decides he wants to become an elephant. and refuses to travel with Bagheera. They separate, frustrated with each other.
As Mowgli sits on a rock and sulks, and a care-free bear, Baloo, comes along, and cheers Mowgli up. The two dance a lively dance together, and Baloo promises Mowgli that he can stay with him in the jungle. Bagheera hears their commotion and rushes back to Mowgli, thinking he is being attacked by Shere Khan. He is dismayed when he finds Baloo and Mowgli dancing, but sticks with them to complete the journey.
The party comes across King Louie, the lord over some ancient ruins. King Louie thinks that Mowgli can help him make fire. He captures him, and send Baloo and Bagheera away. After a frantic escape, Mowgli, Baloo, and Bagheera continue on their journey.
That night, Bagheera tells Baloo of the danger of keeping Mowgli in the jungle. Baloo reluctantly agrees to take him back, but when Mowgli find out that he can't stay in the jungle with Baloo, he runs away.
On his escape, Mowgli encounters Kaa again, and is hypnotized by the python. Kaa is about to eat Mowgli, when Shere Khan appears, and Kaa quickly hides Mowgli, and continues to have a conversation with the tiger, while hiding the fact that the man-cub is nearby. By the time the tiger has disappeared into the jungle, Mowgli has come out of his trance and escaped.
Mowgli comes upon a group of vultures, who are willing to adopt him to become one of their own. Suddenly, Shere Khan appears, and the vultures scatter. All except for Mowgli. Mowgli simply states to the tiger that he is not afraid of him, and Shere Khan becomes very angry. As he is about to pounce upon the man-cub, Baloo appears, and attacks the tiger first. The tiger makes a great claw at the bear, and Baloo falls to the ground. Mowgli ties a burning stick to the tiger's tail, and because he is spookish of fire, the tiger scatters frantically.
Bagheera and Mowgli approach Baloo, who appears to be dead. Suddenly, Baloo rises, and all is not lost......yet. Bagheera tells the group that the plan to get Mowgli back to the man-village has failed, a beautiful song wafts through the air. The party walks towards the source, and they find a beautiful little girl appears. Mowgli follows her into the village, in a trance from her beauty.
Baloo and Bagheera disappear into the jungle, and who knows what adventures they had then.
I hope you enjoyed the witty story of The Jungle Book, come back tomorrow for Thursday's Inspire.