Saturday, 5 February 2011

To the ballet last night.  Beautiful production; I enjoyed so much being with friends, one especially whom I hadn't seen for too long, and who danced when younger (I am always awed by her grace, and jolly grateful for knowing that despite all that, she manages invariably to bash her head on any available kitchen cupboard...).  Prokoviev, Romeo & Juliet.  Is there any music catchier than this?  Literally - wasn't really aware of this production (there are totally separate worlds operating at any one time within a theatre), but when walking past the stage the other day, going to fetch my coat from my dressing room after a rehearsal, I was caught and drawn in by the syncopated thump of the most famous tune in this piece, and couldn't escape...
I always come away from a ballet with the same yearning feeling, though; why can't *I* do anything like that??  Now maybe it's because I haven't seen a ballet since my operation in the summer, and consequent possible-OCD application to practice, but suddenly the answer was crystal clear.  These dancers practise their movements exactly the way we practise our singing.  Their TOTAL control of their body (ahhhh, but really, it is unbelievably good - I couldn't see the Juliet breathing at ALL after she was meant to be dead) is the equivalent of our superlative voice control; hard-earned after so, SO many hours. 

I still wish I could control my body better.  I sincerely envy the dancers their ability to register and avoid obstacles on stage, and have vowed to improve this aspect of my art.  (Mainly because I kept tripping over a particular raised board on the floor of the rehearsal stage yesterday.  And it's not that I never tried ballet - I vaguely remember one lesson - the teacher asked us to put our arms out and up a little and attempt to bring our toes up to touch them.  In my usual overenthusiasm I kicked a leg up... and dislocated my left middle finger.  I don't remember any more lessons.)

I was strangely uplifted:  what those dancers did last night seemed to me to be magic. They defied gravity, time, LOGIC.  Maybe that's what we're about.  Somehow keeping magic alive.  A nice thought, anyway! 

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