Admiring the Pipes

Peter Brook, writing about opera in The Shifting Point: “You come to Mozart and find a perfect marriage between the artificial and something that’s fully alive — here’s an example of the rigid pipe and the water flowing through it. But gradually the attention begins to go more and more to the artificial until suddenly you’re into sclerosis. Suddenly that pipe is taking all the attention and less and less water is trickling through it. Finally you get a fundamentally unwell and crazy society in which people forget that pipes were put into buildings for the purpose of letting the water through, and they now consider them to be works of art. People knock the walls down and admire the piping and totally forget its original purpose and function. This is what has happened in many art forms, and opera is the clearest example.”

The anorexic aesthetic at some ballet companies is a fabulous example of admiring the pipes.

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