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  • Writer's pictureMané & Roger

Tonight, Ballet with the Muppets!

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

Tonight, Tuesday, October 13, we will be teaching ballet with the Muppets!

We'll use original versions of songs such as "It's Not Easy Being Green," "Mah Nà Mah Nà," "Rainbow Connection," and many others, for our Intermediate Ballet Class, 7-8 pm Eastern time. You can also use the recorded version at a time that's convenient for you. 🙂

We’ll be using Zoom for this class, because Facebook doesn’t like when we do this. 🙂

Class is $10. Just send us a message if you want to join us!

Muppets Zoom Call ;)

The Muppets: A brief history:

"The Muppets are an ensemble cast of puppet characters known for an absurdist, burlesque, and self-referential style of variety-sketch comedy. Created by Jim Henson in 1955, they are the namesakes of the Disney-owned media franchise that encompasses television, film, music, and other media associated with the characters.

The Muppets originated in the short-form television series Sam and Friends, which aired from 1955 to 1961. Following appearances on late night talk shows and in advertising during the 1960s, the Muppets began appearing on Sesame Street (1969–present), and attained celebrity status and international recognition through The Muppet Show (1976–1981), which received four Primetime Emmy Award wins and twenty-one nominations during its five-year run.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the Muppets diversified into theatrical films, including The Muppet Movie (1979); The Great Muppet Caper (1981); and The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984). Disney began involvement with them in the late 1980s, during which Henson entered negotiations to sell The Jim Henson Company. The Muppets continued their media presence on television with Muppet Babies (1984–91), as well as The Jim Henson Hour (1989) and Muppets Tonight (1996–98), both of which were similar in format to The Muppet Show; and three films: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), Muppet Treasure Island (1996) and Muppets from Space (1999).

The Muppets Cast

Disney acquired the Muppets in February 2004, allowing the characters to gain broader public exposure than in previous years. Under Disney, subsequent projects included two films: The Muppets (2011) and Muppets Most Wanted (2014); a short-lived primetime series (2015–2016); a reboot of Muppet Babies (2018–present); and the web television series Muppets Now (2020–present).

In their six-decade career, the Muppets have been regarded as a staple of the entertainment industry and popular culture in the United States and English-speaking area generally, being recognized by various cultural institutions and organizations, including the American Film Institute, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Library of Congress, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Mah Nà Mah Nà

Sesame street- Mah Nà Mah Nà - Original 1969 version

The principal characters of The Muppet Show and subsequent media include Kermit the Frog; Miss Piggy; Fozzie Bear; Gonzo; Rowlf the Dog; Scooter; Rizzo the Rat; Pepe the King Prawn; Dr. Bunsen Honeydew; Beaker; Statler and Waldorf; the Swedish Chef; Sam Eagle; Walter; and the Electric Mayhem, fronted by Dr. Teeth (lead vocals, keyboards) and consisting of Animal (drums), Floyd Pepper (bass, background vocals), Janice (guitar, background vocals), Zoot (saxophone), and occasionally Lips (trumpet).

The Muppets sing the classic theme from The Muppets Show

The majority of the Muppets are designed as hand puppets, with several characters utilizing rods. Common design elements of the Muppets include wide mouths and large protruding eyes. Most of the Muppets are molded or carved out of various types of foam and covered with any felt-like material. The characters may represent humans; anthropomorphic characters; realistic animals; robots; extraterrestrial or mythical creatures; or other forms of abstract characters.

The Muppets are distinguished from ventriloquist dummies, which are usually animated only in the head and face, in that their arms or other features are also animated. They are also generally made of softer material. They are presented as being independent of the puppeteer, officially known as a "Muppet performer", who is usually hidden behind a set or outside of the camera frame. Using the camera frame to this advantage was an innovation of the Muppets. Prior to this, a stage was used to mask the performers, as would be the case in a live performance. Sometimes, they are seen full-bodied; in most cases, invisible strings are used to manipulate these puppets, with vocals added at a later point. Performers often use dollies to mimic walking.

Since 2006, Disney has contracted Puppet Heap to produce and maintain newer models of the Muppets. During most performances, the performer holds the character above their head or in front of their body, with one hand operating the head and mouth and the other manipulating the hands and arms, either with two separate control rods or – in the case of "live-hand" Muppets – wearing the hands similarly to gloves. One consequence of this design is that most of the Muppets are left-handed, with the performer using their right hand to operate the head while operating the arm with their left hand.

For more complex Muppets, several performers may operate a single character, with the performer controlling the mouth usually voicing the character. As technology has advanced, the Jim Henson team and other performers have developed several means to operate the Muppets for film and television; these include the use of suspended rigs, internal motors, remote manipulators, and computer enhanced and superimposed images. Creative use of different technologies has allowed for scenes in which the Muppets appear to exhibit complex movements wholly independently of the performer.

Muppet Songs: Rudolf Nureyev - Swine Lake

In his book Street Gang, author Michael Davis wrote that the characters tend to develop "organically," alluding to the performers taking up to a year to develop their characters and voices. They are also "test-driven, passed around from one Henson troupe member to another in the hope of finding the perfect human-Muppet match." When interacting with them, children believed that Muppets were living beings, even when the performers were present." --Wikipedia


Rainbow Connection--Kermit

"Someday we'll find it, that rainbow connection, the lovers the dreamers and me."--Kermit The Frog, American Entertainer


Let's Dance!!!

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