Sunday, April 21, 2013

A to Z Blog Challenge - S

Welcome to Day 19 of the  A to Z Blog Challenge. Today:


is for

Swan Lake

Anyone who knows me is aware of my ballet obsession.

Like many little girls, I took dance class which included tap and ballet, but the ballet part was always my favorite--we got to take on roles and tell a little story.

As I grew older, my reverence for all things ballet only increased. I continued to take ballet class but not in the serious dancer stream. My desire to tell stories, and to dip my feet in many different forms of creative expression, meant that I wasn't fated to become a professional dancer. That decision is made at such a young age by the people who pursue this art form.

As I attended film school in Toronto, I got the dreamiest job of my life so far--working as an usher at the O'Keefe Centre, which then became the Hummingbird Centre (and is now the Sony Centre.) I was able to indulge my ballet obsession for eight seasons of National Ballet of Canada performances. Yay, me!

When I moved back to the Maritimes, my professional dance company withdrawal was pretty hard to take. For awhile there, Empire Theatres--the cinema chain--offered special in-theatre broadcasts of ballets from companies around the world, which I never missed. But those stopped after a few years.

Aside from touring companies appearing in Halifax, my only ballet fix comes from You Tube. Thank God for all the ballet posted there. It stops my dance-lover soul from shriveling up into a dried-out husk and blowing away.

Which brings us to today's joyous post--last Thursday's performance of Swan Lake by Ballet Jorgen, and the community outreach program I attended at my local library branch on the Saturday before that.

Ballet Jorgen is one of those touring rays of sunlight that beams into my life like a heavenly smile. A Toronto-based company, they tour Canada intensively, bringing professional dance to communities that would not normally have access to this art form. 

Here company dancer Taylor Gill explains what sorts of things would be in a dancer's bag.

Sarah Koekkoek demonstrates the movements used in the swan's role during Swan Lake.

Gabriel Ritzmann and the other dancers giving the outreach program take the audience through the basics of ballet positions for arms and feet.

Sarah Koekkoek, Gabriel Ritzmann and Mallory Belzile take the participants through a section of choreography, to show how individual steps act like words to be joined together in choreography like sentences. 

The actual performance couldn't come quickly enough for me. It was like Christmas Eve--Swan Lake Eve! Yet finally there we were, heading through the doors at the Dalhousie Arts Centre in Halifax to settle into our seats to await the curtain.

My thanks to the company for all of their tireless outreach work, since I know that if I was still living in the smaller town of Yarmouth as I did for two years, I would be over the moon to have Ballet Jorgen at the library there, where they are scheduled to appear.

Here's a tiny taste of the wonderful performance we saw last Thursday.


Cathrina Constantine said...

I love ballet, the flow, the strength, the music all combined to make beauty.

Connie Gruning said...

Oh so pretty!! The video was lovely! So graceful. I can see why you would be obsessed!
A to Z-ing to the end
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Kimmy K said...

Dance is so beautiful. I am also Blogging A to Z.

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