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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Back at Ballet

We saw the Washington Ballet’s production of Le Corsaire last night. The music (recorded by the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra) was gorgeous. I was tapping my foot (yes, in the air) the whole time. The sets were sumptuous. The pirate cove was draped in enormous stalactites; the pirate ship sailed on billowy waves; the town was bright with color. The female dancers wore brilliant tutus, and the men wore tight tights. Petipa’s old-fashioned choreography reminded you of classical ballet’s beginning. In fact, I had to keep reminding myself that the entire ballet was a work from 1856.

If you remember that it was created in the mid-1800s, you can suspend disbelief so that it doesn’t bother you that slave girls are auctioned off for nefarious purposes. Indeed, the slave girls, dressed in short, stiff tutus, were distressed about being sold. However, the inherent racism (Conrad and his cohorts deceive the unusually foolish Pasha while he’s at his prayer rug) remains revolting. The idea of Ali as Conrad’s devoted and loyal slave is disgusting. Disgusting or not, though, Brooklyn Mack as Ali stole the show with magnificent, strong leaps and his supple, supple back.

I, on the other hand, was back at ballet class after a 2 ½ week hiatus. I was neither strong nor supple. I was glad that my mind was still following direction, but my muscles were weak, weak, weak. Gaa! How do they DO it?  (You see, I should now have a picture of me at the barre.  Yeah, that will NEVER happen.)

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