|la boutique fanstastique|
Good things are waited for and then end but I wish they didn't.
The ballet "The Fantastic Toyshop" is set in France in 1860. A world-famous toymaker has created exquisite dancing dolls in his magic toyshop. The automata perform various dance routines for the prospective customers. At first the toys entertain two English ladies and an American family. Some dolls perform a tarantella for the guests, followed by other dolls dressed as playing cards who dance a mazurka. Then two dolls come in and perform another routine involving
a snob and a melon vendor. New customers arrive, a Russian family, and everyone welcomes them. Five Cossack dolls enter and perform a traditional dance, followed by an animal act featuring two dancing poodles.
Then the shop-keeper introduces his most sophisticated dancing dolls, a pair of can-can dancers, a flashly-dressed man and girl, come in and perform their routine. Their dance is so enchanting that the American family decides to buy the male doll while the Russian family buys the female dancing doll. The deals are made and paid for, the dolls are placed in separate boxes, and collection is arranged for the next day.
Darkness descends, but during the night the dolls magically come to life and start dancing. They are upset that the two can-can dancers who are lovers are going to be separated, and a plot is hatched to hide them before the customers return in the morning.
When the shop opens the next day, and the customers come in to pick up their dolls, they discover that the can-can dancers are no longer there. The customers, not knowing about the secret life of the dolls, blame the shop owner and attack him and his assistant. In the ensuing fracas the dolls come to the shopkeeper's rescue with the Cossack dolls attacking the customers with their bayonets. Driven out of the shop, the customers watch incredulously through the window as the happy dolls and the shopkeeper dance merrily inside with the re-united can-can dancers.I wish we could keep a little stash of toys in the corner, slightly out of sight, for those cold winter evenings yet to come....they give off such warmth.