Scissorhands

27 04 2007

Last night I went with a few friends and saw Edward Scissorhands the ballet. No it’s not a ballet with tutu’s and sparkly tiaras… it was  more like a play with music and no words.

Besides being the most stunningly choreographed and staged show that I have ever seen it was also the most engrossing. For those of you who have never seen Tim Burton’s movie, Edward Scissorhands is about a boy who is created with blades of scissors instead of hands. When his ‘father’ dies he wanders from his home and into a cookie-cutter suburban neighborhood. There he attempts to make a place for himself, becoming a talented shrub-trimmer and hair stylist and falling in love with one of the girls (Kim). However, not everyone will accept him and he is eventually chased out of the town and killed.

Parts of the show literally took my breath away. The image of Edward, silhouetted against the sky. Kim and Edward dancing through a forest of topiaries, Edward’s scissorhands briefly forgotten. Jim staggering backwards, shirt bloodied after Edward is killed. It was a truly remarkable performance.

The show was more than I expected and I enjoyed it thoroughly, accepting it at face value and thinking how great the whole production was. But, as I often do, I got to thinking about it on the drive home. I understand that Edward’s hands are a metaphor for what it is like to be human. Edward couldn’t touch anyone without hurting them, not even himself. So he makes beautiful things (ie a giant topiary elephant and an ice sculpture for Kim) in an effort to connect. It works, to an extent, but the jealousy of Jim, Kim’s boyfriend, and the hatred of the Evercreech’s drives him out.  

The Evercreech’s incidentally, are what is really bugging me about the show. They are the pastor’s family in the town. Their immediate reaction to Edward is (literally) Bible-thumping and conspicuous dislike. I realize that these are characters created by an obviously liberal middle-class man (Matthew Bourne, director/choreographer) with a good sense of what middle-class people find funny. And they did. The audience laughed along with the exaggerated religious attitude of the Evercreech’s.  I could get offended and protest that Christians are not like that. But the fact is, too often we are exactly as Bourne has painted us.

We don’t look past the scissors. We ignore the beautiful things that those who are unlike us produce simply because they are unlike us. Instead of reaching out we bible-thump and condemn. We forget that at the end of the story Edward dies. In their desperation to remain safe, the Evercreech’s chase Edward out of town. Jim follows him and Edward is killed.

It just makes me wonder how different the story could have been and whether or not I could have changed it. Perhaps we all need to treat each other as though we have scissorhands. Handling one another gently, acknowledging our differences and working around them. We all have the power to cut, the question is, do we use our hands as weapons or as tools to make beautiful things?

I honestly think that this is something worth considering.

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5 responses

27 04 2007
jennerith

Once again, an excellent post. I am kind of sad, because I’ve never gotten the metaphor before. Also because, I hate it when people are chased out because they are different and I know I’ve done it.
Plus I am just a little weepy today anyway….
But it’s a valid point. I think it has alot to do with the fact that since God is the one that distributes creative ability, the church should be the forefront of art and invention, and we’re not. WE should be molding out culture at the forefront of artistic noveau, and we’re making paintings of the Last Supper where everyone has pompadour hair do’s and is levitating slightly. I mean seriously, we should be having visions from God, and we’re condemning someone elses creativity because we have none of our own.
Ugh I am getting sad.

I am glad the show rocked. Wish I could have seen it too! Now go make something beautiful and send it to me for my cube wall.

27 04 2007
walkingintherain

You got it bestest sister of mine!

If the Edward Scissorhands ever gets out your way (it’s a british dance company that tours the world so it might) I will send you money for a ticket.

It’ll rock your world and make you want to dance with topiary people. (Long story)

Love you much.

28 04 2007
Mom Smith

Somethings to really think about….thanks for being honest enough to say it.
One of the things your fahter has taught me is to be honest with God. It is okay to tell Him how you really feel,in fact He loves to hear it. I’m so glad you’re able to do that at your age. Love my girls, Mom

2 05 2007
Father Smith

I like the new look, how come my site doesnt look this cool? Oh Mr Administrator?

3 05 2007
jennerith

where is my new post!!!!
*stamping of feet and flailing of hands*
And Dad, your site does look cool!

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