We get confused, the more information in our heads the more likely we are to conflate experiences and material. And the greater the opportunity for mis-labeling.
In a current article by Allan Ulrich in the SF Chronicle’s Pink section, he quotes choreographer Edwaard Liang (for the Joffery Ballet) explaining the dance “Age of Innocence. “ which, Liang said, was inspired by the novels of Jane Austen.
For most people this probably wasn’t a very important quote, especially since the sprit of the created dance was to capture and illustrate the “expectation and uncertainty, where no one had any more than a few moments and a few whispers to find love.” Every one of those ballroom, or bath house scenes in Austen applies here.
Everything, in this description, was right, even the title is right, it was an age of innocence.
However – since Jane Austen did not write The Age of Innocence, I stumbled as I read the review of the dance piece. I was distracted from the merits of the work because I could not get past the fact that Jane Austen, the inspiring author for the work, did not write The Age of Innocence.
I don’t believe that good choreographers need to possess flawless literary credentials, I just wanted a shout out for the originator of the title of this particular work. We should strive to eliminate innocently created cognitive dissonance in our work. Yes, the theme, intent and dance is all aligned, I just think Edith Wharton deserved a shout out as well. Jane Austen would agree.