Le Cimetière

Le Cimetière (The Cemetery) is the third ballet in the Dans les ténèbres trilogy and concludes the goth/horror storyline begun in La Boîte à musique. Like the first two ballets in the series, it is designed primarily for young dancers and allows for the incorporation of a variety of dance styles.


Scene: A cemetery (rear stage left) with an empty field (center stage, stage right)
Time: An afternoon a few years after Le Grenier.

The younger sister of Goth Girl (from Le Grenier), now a teenager, pays a visit to the cemetery where her sister is buried. (From the headstone we learn that the older sister’s name is Jeslyn Dumont.) Next to the cemetery is a field of wildflowers (dancing children). Younger sister is carrying a basket into which she intends to gather wildflowers and assemble them to place on Jeslyn’s grave. Each child/flower holds an actual flower as they dance, and one by one they give them to the sister as she collects her bouquet. Once the bouquet is completed, the sister proceeds to place them next to Jeslyn’s headstone. Because it is a beautiful, warm afternoon, she then lies down next to Jeslyn’s grave and falls asleep. Time passes, and the sun sets. After sunset the Spirits of the Innocents (children who had died in a local epidemic a century earlier) come out to look at the living girl lying on the ground. These are not malevolent spirits, but are merely curious. When they exit, the town clock can be heard striking midnight. At this the sister wakens and realizes that she has slept far longer than she had intended. But before she can be on her way, other spirits begin to come forth from their graves and dance around her, blocking her escape. These include characters appearing or referenced in the first ballet: a dead Scot (whose tam-o-shanter was discovered in the trunk), a dead Flapper (whose boa likewise was from the trunk), and the Spectral Couple, along with the deceased Aunt. Other spirits also join in, and they are clearly malevolent. Finally the Grandmother appears as a witch, and it becomes apparent that she was behind all the events of the first two ballets, being the evil which no one expected. As she attempts to orchestrate the abduction of the younger sister into the otherworldly coven, suddenly Jeslyn comes forward and defiantly stands between the sister and Grandmother. Grandmother tries to cast Jeslyn aside with her powers, but Jeslyn remains steadfast. Jeslyn raises her hands, palms facing the menacing crowd, and mysteriously pushes them all away so that they all withdraw reluctantly and return to their tombs, thus saving the younger sister. The two sisters now stand and stare at each other momentarily, then Jeslyn puts out her hands palms up and younger sister gracefully places her hands on the upturned palms. They look into each other’s eyes, conveying the love that they share as sisters, then Jeslyn slowly backs away and returns to her tomb. Younger sister looks after her for a brief moment before finally turning to go back to the land of the living. All is well. The evil has been conquered by no less than love itself. End of ballet.

(in order of appearance)

Goth Girl’s Younger Sister
Spirits of the Innocents
Malevolent Spirits
Dead Scot
Dead Flapper
Spectral Couple
Jeslyn (Goth Girl)


Scored for strings, flute, oboe/oboe d’amour, clarinet/bass clarinet, bassoon, harp, piano/harpsichord/organ, and percussion (timpani, vibraphone, gong, bass drum, drum set, tambourine, whip).
Total length: appoximately 27 minutes. Score is available on request. Please contact the composer for more information.

Audio Files

Dance of the Innocents
Awaking & Mazurka of Malevolent Spirits
Dead Scot Dance
Dead Flapper Dance
Spectral Couple Waltz
Goth Girl Dance
Witch Dance & Finale

Copyright © 2015 by John Craton

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