"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce

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Saturday, 12 January 2013


This is my world!

Image from Google.com

The photo above totally sums up where my head has been for the past few days.  On Thursday I went to see Moscow City Ballet dance Swan Lake.  It was fantastic.  It was the second time I have seen that ballet danced in live performance and it is always breath-taking.  I was sat on the front row, so I had a marvelous view - I found myself mesmerized by the dancer's feet, trying to figure out the intricate pointe work and recognize the steps.  I do this when I watch ice dancers too - I sit there trying to recognize each step, pin pointing the transitions from one step sequence into another - I have even been known to whisper excitedly "I can do that!"...it is the perk of many classes and lots of blisters.

The Lyceum Theater is a stunning Victorian theater.  Inside the auditorium there are velvet curtained boxes; gilded architecture and the stage is flanked with marble Muses, the guardians of the Arts.  As I sat in my rose velvet seat, I could peer down into the Orchestra Pit below and see the musicians bringing Tchaikovsky's masterpiece to life.  I watched enthralled as Odette meets Prince Siegfried (danced for Moscow City Ballet by Danseur Noble Daniil Orlov), then dances away, too scared to trust, not daring to believe that Rothbart's evil curse might be soon be broken...for how can she be anything other than a enchanted Swan Maid?  It is all she has known for so long and as cruel as her predicament is, it is her comfort zone, none the less.   Eventually the Prince wins Odette's trust and vows to break the curse that holds her captive.  Of course, his vow is broken when he is tricked into pledging himself to Odile, Rothbart's daughter and a dead ringer for Odette - the two roles are danced by the same ballerina, in this performance Darya Klimova.

There is no finer sight in the Arts than that of 32 Swans, all en pointe. In this production I also liked how Odile first makes her Act 2 appearance wearing a tutu that is half white and half black, illustrating her likeness to/imitation of  Odette. Only when the seduction is complete and the Prince has been taken in by her trickery does she come out in an all black costume; sealing the conquest in tulle.  The Prince and Odette are lost in their tragedy; and Rothbart dances in triumph, glaring right at me as he enjoys his victory - that was quite a scary moment - he must have seen my sympathy for the lovers written all over my face.  I was completely drawn in by the dancers and their art.  Even though I am well versed in the story of Swan Lake, some part of me still clings on to the hope of a happy ending for Odette and her Prince.  

The performance on Thursday left me moved to tears and I have been on a ballet buzz ever since. After the show I walked through the city center to find a particular ballet studio I am hoping to join and take up  classes with.  I love learning new things and more dance lessons are in order if I am to improve my ice-skating. Right now as the early winter evening falls, I plan to settle down with a glass of rose wine and the DVD of Black Swan.  Yorkshire is in for some quite heavy snow tonight, so I am looking forward to enjoying a weekend of winter dreams and my collection of Margot Fonteyn ballet videos, curled up warm by the fireside.  But in my dreams I am the pretty ballerina in the photo above, standing gracefully en pointe, amid a winter wonderland of snow...

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