Thursday, January 15, 2004

For ballet fans

I'm sure lots of the women on this list took ballet lessons as girls. Well, so did I--in fact, I did a lot more than that. Recently, I saw "The Company," the new Robert Altman film about the ballet, and I posted some reflections. An excerpt:
A lovely dancer is jump, jump, jumping to demonstrate to her understudy the proper ballon in a classical solo. But then: Up, down, up, down, up, SNAP!, crumple. She falls in a heap on the floor, grabbing her ankle. Silent at first. Speechless. You'd think that someone who's just snapped her Achilles' tendon would be squealing in pain. (I mean, my god--look at the high-drama show those football players put on every Sunday.) But no. She just sits. And you know why? It's the shock. Not the physical shock. The emotional shock of knowing, in an instant, that your career is probably over. After a lifetime spent striving, bleeding, breathing, crying to do this one thing, it's done. And there's nothing she can do about it.

That image will stay with me forever. Because despite the fond memories, it's that very instant that defines my own dancing life.
To read the whole thing, go here.

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