Week 8 Blog Post – Swan Lake

One ballerina graces the stage. The music is loud, almost eerie after the dancer describes how she wants to scream or leave stage every time her body is used as a backdrop for a star. She sadly walks, in what would be described as a grumble if it wasn’t so defeated, and then assumes a delicate posture. In one place, just off-center, she glides through many postures, obviously not the star. Then she turns slowly from her posture, and requests that the music be louder.

She assumes a reaching posture, a branch yearning to touch the heavens and the ground simultaneously, and freezes. A decoration, an adornment valued only for its relation to the star. The hands stop reaching and bow together into a delicately resigned position in front of the body. She bows her head sideways towards center. The music is sweet, thick with action, and the one dancer’s scream can almost be seen, stifled into her position becoming stiff with fatigue.

And then action. She turns and lifts her leg, performing small jumps in a radius of about three feet. She moves, reaching, seeming to be missing the power of the group that the music implies. In it, we are exposed to the intricacies of one snowflake falling furiously, in the absence of her blizzard.

And then she freezes again. The scream, distracted by the movement dictated before, now has room to build again. She then walks to bow, elegantly, with the wings of a dove almost. She does a bourrée, and then repeats the sequence. She turns and freezes into stone, hands framing a non-present star. The bowing sequence is repeated, only to lead our not-so-prima ballerina into another posture. Her eyes glance down, demurely, resentfully.

She then glides across the stage, with an elegant demure, and settles into another pose just in time for the music to begin a joyous celebration for the missing stars of the piece. The dancer’s unmoving body, wanting to move, burns with stiffness. She finishes with a final bow of the head and arms, consenting to participate in the stars success.

One thought on “Week 8 Blog Post – Swan Lake

  1. “One snowflake falling in the absence of a blizzard.” I can’t get the phrase out of my head. But that’s exactly what that performance evoked — the singular who should have been seen with a chorus, the person who evoked a full stage of ballet dancers on her own, just because she could narrate the normative choreography and her reaction to the way in which she serves that choreography. This was beautiful to read.


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