Reloaded or Version 2.0?

What does reloaded really mean? Is it a remake? A new interpretation of something? Where does it come from? Another way of saying that something is a new version of something is to add 2.0. to its name. These are very new terms that have become so popular the they are even combined with classical themes.

Lats Friday I was at the premiere of Swan Lake Reloaded, an encounter of street dance and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. I hadn’t read any kind of critique or description before because I wanted to be surprised. I praise myself of being open-minded and what came really was something different.

The show is Fredrik Rydman’s Swedish techno remix of the Tchaikovsky’s classic. Not only the music was remixed, the story was ‘modernized’, if you can call it that way. The play is full of coarse elements and the motto ‘sex sells’ applies ideally to this reloaded version. The story is loaded with “funny banana” allusions to the masculine organ while the swans have dedicated themselves to ‘the oldest profession in the world’. Rothbart is a drug dealing pimp and the prince is a softy guy. You have to know the original story to be able to follow this 2.0 version. Does reloaded have to be equal to coarse?

The music has a strong electro beat and is loud. Not every piece in the show is from the original ballet, they’ve included songs with interesting texts and sung by a nice woman’s voice.  The songs reminded me of alternative rock music.

To the visuals in the show, the choreography was very bright, lots of light effects, and a great visual simulation with lights and smoke at the beginning to set the time to our modern age. This very new age world with is street scenes almost always in black and white is in opposition with a scenery that reminded me of Paris, Toulouse Lautrec and the cancan. In this case, the music matched the era and it was bright and funny. The dancers were in big red “business” suits and they were performing with elements of street dance. Some of these scenes were also like a circus performance with circus humor.

During the show I had one or two good laughs. One was with ‘La Cucaracha’ reloaded, not the music, but the visuals. I don’t want to tell you more in case you watch the show… Another one was with the way the swans were dressed and especially with their white wigs… I made a note in my mind not to buy cheap hairdryers or I would end up looking like “a crazy swan”.

Image from Swan Lake

A white Swan from Swan Lake Reloaded

All in all, this remake of the Swan Lake made me think of the Swan Lake Ballet in a psychiatric clinic, more or less… The play uses successfully the element of surprise presenting what you don’t expect to see or to listen to. It’s a big show, but neither the story reloaded nor the dancing left me an unforgettable impression.  I found the technical elements very impressive same as the price of the ticket, really impressive, too. ^^

One of the modern interpretations of the Swan Lake that I prefer is the talented interpretation by the “Taller Coreográfico de la UNAM” (National University in Mexico City) of Gloria Contreras and her creative and sensitive choreographies.

TCUNAM Swan Lake

Swan Lake by Gloria Contreras

However, after the show we went to have a glass of wine and something to eat at the restaurant next to the theatre. The theatre is called “Prinzregenten” and it is one of the biggest theater houses in Munich.

The restaurant was the best surprise of the evening. It is beautifully decorated and was almost empty although it was a Friday evening. In other places in Munich it is impossible to get ‘spontaneously’, with no previous reservation, a table for five.

Restaurant Prinzipal

Restaurant Prinzipal, Prinzregententheater

Now again to the ‘reloaded’ part.You may find the term attached to computer games, films and other entertainment media. I’m not very sure, but it may come from the science fiction film “The Matrix Reloaded”, 2003. The story continues six months after the first Matrix. As for the 2.0, the versioning my be from software development with its releases and complete new version of a software package.

I’ve found that many of the remakes of either theatre pieces or films try to be extremely innovative and I imagine that they want to challenge the spectators. They include lots of violence and sexual elements in their performances. However, I don’t find them original or daring as all of them have more or less the same look. Am I misinterpreting something?  I used to go to the theatre and some of the plays I saw abused of these elements I’m mentioning. I remember having seen “The bitter tears of Petra von Kant” , a film of R.W. Fassbinder, 1972. In this “reloaded” version the scenery was scarce in black, grey and some pale pink, and everyone was wearing dark and S&M outfits. Is this original?? In one of the crucial scenes, the personal secretary of Petra hangs herself in a corset… Mmmm… I imagined Rihanna singing her S&M.  Another play 2.0 I watched was “Reigen”. This is a theater play from Arthur Schnitzler that was first performed in 1920 and it was a scandal in the conservative European society because of its theme. In the original play the dialogues always suggest sexual themes, but whether show or talk openly about it. In the reloaded version, the scenes were “shocking” because of the violence shown on stage. The colors were, of course black!, almost neon green and white flashes. In our 21st century, we are continuously in contact with all this, even in TV shows. Reading or writing about sex has become “in”, so I suppose that to be “original” the shock has to be visual or acoustic and everything has to be more shocking than before.

Back to the term reloaded or with second versions sticking only to the re-creating, re-designing, re-inventing something, not intended to shock. How is it with people? Have you had a makeover? Are you reloaded or V. 2.0? In my case I have started with Tona Reloaded, full of new ideas and plans that will radically change my life the way I’ve lived it in the past years… And I hope for good and without shocking 😉 When I finish with the process I will be then Tona 2.0

How about you?

Wish you a creative week!