Terpsichore, a ballet



Prima Ballerina  Terpsichore, Goddess of the Dance

Danseur Nobel Alexander. a crippled, mortal, peasant

Danseur  # 1 Zeus, King of the Geek Gods

Danseur  # 2 Erebus, Greek God of darkness

Scene 1

A bucolic area. A painting of Mt. Olympus in background with a greek temple on top.

Various gods and goddesses of the Corps, dancing. This all centers on Terpsichore.

Mid-way, Alexander enters in loose peasant outfit.  His legs are bent and he walks using crutch sticks. He is assisted by two peasant friends. He sits on a chair, enviously, looking at the dancers. Everyone makes fun of him with cripple gestures and laughing.

He’s embarrassed, but points to his weak legs.

More dancing. Terpsichore comes over.

He appeals for her love, hands over his heart, then out stretched to her.

Terpsichore laughs at him and dances away. More dancing.

Cymbals crash, horns blare and lighting flashes, black, flash, black. The lights come up.

Zeus appears on stage in a gold lamè costume.

All cringe and supplicate at his magnificence.

Zeus beckons to Terpsichore. She gestures. Moi?  Yes. They dance together.

Each with a bravura single. Then the Corps, for breather. Then a pas de deus.

Zeus notices Alexander and motions him to dance.

Alexander indicates his love for Terpsichore, then points to his legs, facing the audience.

Zeus, urges him up on his crutches. He is helped by his two friends.

Zeus gestures. Cymbals. Horn. Lightning flashes, blackout, flash, a longer blackout. lights up.

Alexander is transformed. His costume has fallen away. His crutches fall to the floor.

Zeus encourage him to dance. But his legs are still weak.

Zeus muses. Asks a girl for water to drink. she hands him a brown, flat bottle.

He holds it up to his ear and shakes it. Yes its full. His right hand thrusts it to the sky.

It is now a GOLD bottle. He hands it to Alexander, indicating he should drink.

Alexander upends it and drinks it down. And becomes the Danseur Noble.

Zeus exits.

Alexander does some slow warm ups, getting a feel for his new found ability.

Then a bravura. Terpsichore does a bravura indicating her new love for Alexander.

the Corps does a turn, giving them a rest. Then a pas de deus.               

Cymbals crash, horns blare, lighting flashes, black, flash, black. Lights come up.

Erebus appears on stage, dressed in black. He too loves Terpsichore.  She scorns him.

Infuriated, he gestures toward Alexander, who fall to the floor dead.

His friends carry his body over to a low bench, and drape a sheet completely over him, including his face. His outline is shown under the sheet.

Terpsichore is grief stricken and mourns at his side.

Erebus, gloating, forces her to dance. Then drags her off stage.

          END OF ACT ONE

                ACT TWO

Same place. Erebus and Terpsichore enter. She with a diaphanous, black covering, over her white costume.

Erebus does a bravura. Then Terpsichore.

The Corps dances to give them a breather. Then a pas de deus.

Zeus enters. Erebus slinks to the background.

She and Zeus do a pas de deus.

Zeus asks where is Alexander? Terpsichore points to the lifeless body on the bench.

Who did this? She points to Erebus.

Zeus calls Erebus to the center of the stage. Did you do this?

Erebus dances a plea for mercy

Zeus not impressed He gestures at Erebus. Cymbals. Erebus crumples to the floor.

Zeus hands him the crutch sticks.

Erebus hobbles off stage. A cripple forever.

Zeus goes over to Alexander, and makes a grand gesture. Cymbals, horns.

They pull the sheet off Alexander. He’s back from he dead, in shimmering white.

All rejoice. Terpsichore throws herself in his arms.

They do a pas de deus. Rejoicing, he does a bravura. Terpsichore does a bravura.

Zeus does a bravura.  Zeus gives the lovers his blessing.

But Alexander hesitates. He indicates that Terpsichore is immortal. But he is human, and will die of old age.

Zeus laughs. He motions for Alexander to kneel before him.

Zeus is facing the audience. Alexander kneels on one knee, facing him.

Zeus makes grand gestures over Alexander. He indicates that Alexander will live forever.

There’s a big wedding, with much costumed dancing.

Then Terpsichore and Alexander dance off to their wedding night.




Alexander is wearing a ‘Break-away’ peasant costume. He is helped on stage, by two friends, and sat in a chair. He never moves. When He does get up, he is helped by the same friends. His lack of movement helps conceal the fact that his costume is rigged. (See, quick-change artists on Britain’s Got Talent.) While the audience’s attention is elsewhere, the bundle is taken off stage.


The flask is a shiny, gold plated, flattened metal flask, covered with brown tissue paper. the paper is perforated along the edge. As Zeus brings it up to his ear, he starts to rip it off. As he dramatically thrusts it into the air, he finishes the task, and crumples the tissue into a tiny ball. He hands this off to a dancer.


The bench is longer than Alexander, so when he is covered with the sheet, it can be flattened down past his head and feet. As the sheet is being lowered (from the front), he

rolls off the bench, onto a soft pad on the floor behind. He can be comfortable there till

the end of scene one. It has a mirror between the two supports, so you can’t see behind it.


Use the same wire frame that stage magicians use for the Rising Body Trick,

where a body covered with a sheet rises into the air. He pulls the sheet away, and there

is nothing there.


Alexander has changed costumes between acts. He takes his place under the sheet.

the sheet is very breathable. He waits till he  is reborn. (See how he tolerates this). If not,

he can lay on the pad  and slip onto the bench, as the sheet and frame are being removed.

This must be practiced, to go smoothly.


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