Listen to the sound, Bal-let: the word itself is feather-like. Light and elegant, delicate and swift, like ballerinas. Fragile, like their long fingers.
Flamboyant. That is the feeling Ballet was bringing to my imagery. But not anymore.
I so much wanted to write about Ballet and when I finally found few minutes of free time I thought it would be the best time to write about this. Time when I am tired, cold, nervous again for not sleeping enough. Time when my head is a warehouse, full of business & economics related thoughts. Time when I feel bit down because my artistic freestyle side is pressured down by newly acquired career. That is a gruesome irony, the more serious and challenging work is, the more interested you are, the more it will swallow you completely, leaving no single inch for your other passions.
The New Yorker’s article from February’ 13 about Bolshoi scandal brought me to almost mindful break up with my world perceptions. It is interesting, when you’ve developed certain perceptions about the matter, in my case Ballet, starting from when you were child– it explodes almost within 10 minutes (as it took me exactly 10 min to swallow the endless and full of unnecessary details article). I heard the rumours of acid attack on Bolshoi Theatre director months ago, when I was asked “what the hell is going on in your Russian not-so-cultural circles”, well, in a bit more polite way.
The article itself was heavily opinionated, as from the very first words journalist already gives clear impression who is «villain» and who is «martyr» in the story. When business and high politics blend into the arts’ world, there is no such thing as the right or wrong sides. Everybody gets their hands dirty.
Not that I ever idealized Ballet (not only Russian, but around the world in general): as Moscovite you somehow get immersed into that culture, especially if it is an integral element of your childhood. And the harsh graphic image of ballerinas’s world in ‘Black Swan’, I guess, made it clear for everybody that leaving your daughter in wild forest might be even safer then bringing her into the Ballet school.
It is the circle of relationships always clinging to the status “complicated”, pushing jealousy, offence, fighting (often literally) over the performance parts.
Shoes of rivals are being filled with broken glass, while the director’s office is full of threats and bribes for securing the lead roles. Just remember to add mentally to each of the above mentioned ‘based on true events’: word of mouth favours exaggeration. Yes, yes, heard all of this.
The partners refuse to catch jumping divas, and the battlefield gets divided into three, sometimes four camp sides. Yes.
This is particularly true in artistic world: Politicians get involved, favouring certain dancers. From the article I learned that you cannot really kick out of the Company the fading dancer who is backed up by “ important dudes”, but you can still can say no to all of his requests for the leading part.
What the hell happened to that flamboyant, magical idea of Ballet? The idea that takes you away from reality, from outside world, and currents you into completely different imagery.
The idea of flying and dancing at the same time.
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