This site is entirely devoted to my collection of plays, including dancing scenes, entitled: Extravagant Tales.
The work consisting in a series of bizarre stories is characterized, except for the trilogy concerning classical dance, by the theatrical form: single scene-single act.

EXTRAVAGANT TALES
WORDS AND MUSIC: PAOLO CONTI

1) Two fatal blondes
2) Law lessons (The crazy cats' dance) (Minnie's and Christina's complaint)
3) Dance School I (Introduction) (Young pupils' dance) (Final apologies)
4) Dance School II (Hungarian dance)
5) Dance School III (Masked ball) (Waltz) (Alessia's and Stefania's confession) (Odd steps)
6) Caught in the act
7) Claudine and Justine
8) Art course
9) The pink girls

I am looking for theatrical companies, dance schools or cultural societies that may be interested in performing my plays.
paolocnt@yahoo.it

It is forbidden to use the material contained in this site. All rights reserved. Copyright: Paolo Conti 2002.

DANCE SCHOOL (I)


SINGLE ACT-SCENE ONE

The curtain is raised.


Saturday morning.
The practice room of a Dance School.
A lady wearing a tutu and dancing shoes is showing her pupils a series of difficult steps.

CLARETTA (besides being the classical dance trainer, she is also the owner of the school)
(she stops) Now it is your turn, young ladies. Are you ready?

The young dancers nod.

CLARETTA - At this stage we can start. (she mimes the classical cue)
One…two…three…four.

The pupils begin to dance on the notes of a sweet melody

CLARETTA (a bit later) - That's fine. Go on the same way …

In the air a naughty laughter rings.
Claretta immediately stops and notices that a group of girls is entering the school.

CLARETTA (ironically) If our guests allow us, we would like to start again.

The newcomers feeling to be observed keep silent. The lady mimes again the cue.

CLARETTA (after her pupils have performed a new series of steps) - Good, girls. Well done!

The guests begin to provoke again. This time more openly.

ALESSIA (she is a brunette, with provocative manners)- Did you see how they move? They look like little dolls.
STEFANIA (same manners as Alessia)- That's true. They are really funny.
ALESSIA (clumsily miming the movements of the girls)- One…two…three…four.
STEFANIA (imitating Alessia)- I can do that too.

They others in the group laugh amusedly.

MONIQUE (she is blonde, very pretty and is considered to be a quite promising dancer) (speaking with the typical French r) - Please stop it. Tomorrow there will be a dancing test.
ALESSIA (addressing Monique) - So what?
FRANCESCA (a very pretty brunette) - Please, we beg you! It is very important for us.
STEFANIA (ironically miming Francesca) Listen to her: It is very important for us!
ALESSIA (addressing the others in her group) (sarcastically) - Let us be silent, girls. The young artists do not want to be disturbed.
STEFANIA (sarcastically too)- That's true. How didn't we think about it before?

Monique, Francesca and their course mates resume their dance.
A bit later Alessia annoyed by their grace attacks them again.

ALESSIA - I still hold the same opinion. They look like little dolls.

Some more laughter rings.

MONIQUE (decidedly) - You are jealous because we are so good!

ALESSIA (superciliously) - Do you really think so? Actually I must say I didn't enjoy myself so much for a long, long time.

The situation is taking an unexpected turn. The trainer tries to calm them down.

CLARETTA (beginning to be worried) Now stop it, girls! Take it easy.
MONIQUE - We beg your pardon, madam. They are really irritating.
ALESSIA (addressing Monique) - How do you dare speak this way?
MONIQUE - If you want, I'll tell you again: You are really irritating.
ALESSIA - Do you want to see whether I'm able to make you stop acting as a heroine?
MONIQUE - Why? What do you want to do?
ALESSIA - We might have a wrestling match.
MONIQUE - What did you say?
ALESSIA - Please do not pretend: you have understood my words.
MONIQUE (with a self-assurance contrasting with her angelic face) - Don't think you can frighten me.
ALESSIA - So, do you accept?
MONIQUE - Sure.
STEFANIA - I challenge your friend.
FRANCESCA - That's fine with me.
THE OTHER PROVOKERS - We challenge the others.
THE OTHER DANCERS (unexpectedly) - Fine with us too.
CLARETTA (not knowing what to do) - Please young ladies … please … think of what you are going to do.

Monique and the others are quite upset.

MONIQUE - We beg your pardon, madam. It's the only way to make these bad mannered chicks behave.
ALESSIA - Don't make me laugh. Rather than speaking nonsense, why don't we choose a venue for the match?
FRANCESCA - We can fight here. Quite often the school is closed at weekends.
MONIQUE - That's true! (turning to her trainer) Please madam, allow us to use this room.
CLARETTA (realising that there's nothing to do by now) - That's all right, if you really want so.
FRANCESCA - Thank you so much.
MONIQUE - I would propose something more.
ALESSIA - Yes?
MONIQUE - First of all I would like to fix the match in two weeks. In the second place I propose that both parties will be allowed to bring along a group of supporters.
ALESSIA - I like that! (to the other girls in her group) What do you think about it?
ALESSIA'S FRIENDS - That's fine with us.
MONIQUE - (to the other dancers) - Do you agree as well?
THE OTHER DANCERS - That's OK.
CLARETTA - It seems to me that everybody is happy with it. We just have to wait now.

The provokers begin to leave the practice room.

STEFANIA - (mischievously) Bye, bye. See you soon.
ALESSIA - (mischievously too) - Please don't do too much training.
MONIQUE- (as soon as the provokers go out) - What a bunch of bullies!
FRANCESCA - That's right!
CLARETTA - Did you forget that tomorrow there is the dancing test? I don't want to look inopportune, but maybe it's better if we start working again.

The girls go back to the centre of the stage.

SCENE TWO

Three days later.
The young dancers are having a secret meeting in the practice room.

MONIQUE - I beg your pardon if I'm a bit upset, but I would have never believed that one day I would have been in the necessity to lie to our trainer.
FRANCESCA - What do you mean?
MONIQUE - I said to her that we would have met at the school to prepare the match.
FRANCESCA - Isn't this the reason for our meeting?
MONIQUE- Not exactly.

The other dancers, a bit worried, look at Monique.

FRANCESCA - What's the matter?
MONIQUE - I heard from a friend that our rivals practice judo and are quite good at it.
FRANCESCA - That's why they felt so confident.
ONE OF THE DANCERS - Bad luck! We had to stumble in some judo champions!
ANOTHER DANCER - Let's face it, we will lose.
FRANCESCA - Right. And what is awful is that we'll be defeated before our supporters.
THE FIRST DANCER - I have invited all my friends.
THE SECOND DANCER - Me too.
ANOTHER DANCER - Don't tell it to me. I have even called my cousin.
THE REST OF THE DANCERS - And now? What can we do? There are only ten days left before the showdown.
MONIQUE - I think I've got an idea.

The other girls stare at their course mate

FRANCESCA- Really? What's that?
MONIQUE - (with circumspection) - Come closer. Somebody may overhear us.

The other girls gather around Monique.

MONIQUE (whispering) - We'll try to cope with our rivals, but if we are overwhelmed, we'll try and grab the right moment to…

The girls listen attentively to Monique's proposal.

FRANCESCA - Let's try it. We have nothing to lose.
THE FIRST DANCER - With a bit of good luck we might make it.
THEW SECOND DANCER - Let's have a try.

After revealing her plan Monique suggests her companions to act quite carefully.

MONIQUE - Please, nobody must know until the day of the match.
FRANCESCA - Yes, and let's hope it will work, otherwise just think of our bad figure!
THE FIRST DANCER - I do not want to think about it.
THE SECOND DANCER - Me neither.

The girls silently go out of the room.


SCENE THREE

The day of the match.
At the centre of the stage there are twelve young dancers wearing a classic tutu and twelve challengers wearing a black costume.
In the background the supporters of both parties can be seen while eagerly waiting for the start of the match.
Alessia and Stefania, being backed by their friends, start provoking their rivals.

ALESSIA - Look a the young dancers! Even though they must face a wrestling match, they are wearing a tutu and dancing shoes.
STEFANIA - I say that they want to show off with their elegance in the course of the match.
ONE OF THE PROVOKERS- I really want to see if they we'll be able to elegantly accept the defeat they are going to get.
ANOTHER PROVOKER - I can't wait to see their little faces full of disappointment.

The young dancers refuse their rivals' provocations and turn their face on them.

CLARETTA (wearing a tutu as well) (placing herself in the middle of the two groups) - Now please stop provoking! If you are ready, we can start the match.
ALESSIA - That's fine with us
MONIQUE - With us too.
CLARETTA - The match will last two sets of three minutes each.
The girls who at the end of the second set are in advantage on the others will be the winners. (indicating the two sides of the room) The supporters of my pupils will sit on the right, the supporters of the other girls on the left.

The two parties take their place according to Claretta's directions.

CLARETTA - (looking at her watch) - You can start!

Alessia, Stefania and the other challengers, driven by the incitement of their supporters, immediately run against the young dancers who, as it was predictable, are soon in great distress.

ALESSIA'S MOTHER - (inciting her daughter who is fighting against Monique) - Good, Alessia! Go on this way!
STEFANIA'S MOTHER - (inciting her daughter who is fighting against Francesca) - Good, Stefania! Don't lose your concentration!

In spite of their generous efforts Monique and Francesca are overwhelmed by their adversaries.

ALESSIA (who is pinning Monique) - I must apologise if I say so, but I have the impression that there will be no doubt about the final result of the match.
MONIQUE (trying to get free) - Do not rejoice too soon.
STEFANIA (who is pinning Francesca) - Do not try to move too much. It might be bad for your health.
FRANCESCA (trying to move) - When I need your advice, I'll ask for it.

The other young pupils are in the same position as Monique and Francesca.

ONE OF THE DANCERS (trying to get rid of her rival) - Let me breathe at least!
HER RIVAL (ironically) - I am sorry, but I have to win the match.
ANOTHER DANCER (in the same situation as her friend) - There is no way to get rid of you.
HER RIVAL - I am sorry, but I have no time for your baby whining.

The situation remains the same.

CLARETTA (ringing a bell) - End of the first set.

The two groups go back to the centre of the room.

CLARETTA (looking again at her watch) - The second set begins.

Monique and Francesca try to resist the attack of their direct rivals, but are pinned again.

ALESSIA (to Monique) Do you like so much to be under me?
MONIQUE - You must win the match before speaking.
STEFANIA - (to Francesca) - Next time stay at home and do some knitting!
FRANCESCA - It is better if you mind your own business.

Monique's and Francesca's mothers, being worried, try to encourage their daughters.

MONIQUE'S MOTHER - Come on, Monique. Keep fighting.
FRANCESCA'S MOTHER - Come on, Francesca. Try to react.

All the other young pupils are in the same situation.

THE SUPPORTERS OF THE OTHER DANCERS - Keep faith. You still have some time before the end of the match.

Being unaware of the fact that their adversaries, just before starting the match, had planned a subtle plot behind their backs, Alessia e Stefania begin to assume a triumphant attitude.

ALESSIA (lifting her arms) (to Claretta) - Madam, why don't you ring the bell? Don't you see that your pupils are done?
CLARETTA (decidedly) - The set ends after three minutes.
STEFANIA (imitating Alessia as well as the rest of her group) - Do what you want. We exult in the meantime.

The young dancers, being favoured by the state of extreme excitement of their rivals, take the opportunity to accomplish their plot and, as fast as weasels, reach for a secret pocket in their tutus and take out some little spry cans containing a soporific drug.
Alessia, Stefania and the other, before they can even attempt a reaction, are drenched in the spray, which soon begins to produce its effect.

ALESSIA (feeling dizzy) - What's happening to me? I cannot keep my eyes open.
STEFANIA (in the same state as Alessia and all her friends) Me too.
ALESSIA'S MOTHER - (incredulous) - Fight back, Alessia. Do not fall asleep.
STEFANIA'S MOTHER - (incredulous as well) - Wake up, Stefania. The match is not over yet.

Their incitements have no effect because Alessia and Stefania, as well as their friends, inevitably fall to the ground.
The young dancers, who did not wait for anything else, exploit this opportunity to overturn the situation.

MONIQUE (getting rid of her adversary) - Quick, girls. The match is about to finish.
FRANCESCA (doing the same) - We have no time to lose.

Monique and her companions, before the incredulous supporters of Alessia's group, succeed in taking that predominant position which belonged to their rivals.
After a few seconds Claretta proclaims the end of the match.

CLARETTA (with an aristocratic tone) - The group led by miss Monique and miss Francesca wins the match for knock out at the second set.

The supporters of the winners' group applause merrily.

ALESSIA'S MOTHER (confused) - But …
STEFANIA'S MOTHER (confused too) - Actually …
CLARETTA (preceding Alessia's mother) - I am sorry madam. Nobody stated that the participants could not recur to some little trick. If your dear ones, instead of trying to be clever, had only be a bit more careful…

Alessia's and Stefania's mothers have to accept the result after all.
The young dancer, in the meantime, stand up and reach the centre of the stage in triumph.

MONIQUE (looking at her adversaries, who peacefully sleep) - If you see them so, they really look like little angels.
FRANCESCA (ironically) - Let us not make too much noise, our rivals are taking a rest.
ANOTHER DANCER (ironically as well) - Who knows what they are dreaming of?
MONIQUE (to the supporters of her group) - In few minutes you we'll see the grand finale.

SCENE FOUR

The young dancers, during the break, have set on a wooden board at the centre of the stage a large photograph, previously prepared, showing their faces in close-up and with a mocking expression.
In that extravagant picture some of them smile sarcastically, some other squint their eyes in a provoking way, some other suggest different ironical gestures.
The supporters of the winner group, still in the same position as at the beginning of the match, look at the strange composition with an amused expression.
The supporters of the defeated group, still in the same position as at the beginning of the match, do not dare look at their rivals.
Alessia and Stefania and the other provokers have come to themselves but are still fairly confused, even though they have succeeded in sitting down on the chairs in the room.

ALESSIA (rubbing her forehead with her right hand) (to Stefania) I feel a weight on my head. What's happened?
STEFANIA - It is quite simple. We have fallen in the web of the spider just like flies.
ALESSIA - What do you mean?
STEFANIA - Wait and see.

In that moment a sound of little bells accompanies the entry of the winners who, proceeding on the tip of their feet, reach the centre of the stage.
After a few seconds the young pupils begin to dance on the notes of a song, whose lyrics have been written to mock openly their rivals.
The short but intense performance preludes to another song in the same style of the previous one. This time Monique and Francesca stay in the middle of the group and, as light as butterflies, dance accompanied by the elegant movements of their mates.
At the end, being followed by all the others, they climb the upper part of the stage.

CLARETTA (getting close to her pupils) - Congratulations, girls, you have been great!

The young dancers, among the continuous applauses of their supporters, make an endless series of bows.
Then, by walking again on the tip of their feet, the proceed to the exit.

ALESSIA (incredulous) - I can't believe it. They have won.
STEFANIA (dejected) - We have been quite silly!

Curtain.

 

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