Welcome Everyone to this year's A to Z Blog Challenge.
I joined this challenge for the first time in 2011. I've managed to meet several bloggers during this challenge who have become very dear online friends, and so I give much thanks to Arlee Bird for starting this challenge in 2010.
As of preparing this post on the evening of March 31st, there were 1992 participants signed up for the challenge. Amazing! Good luck to all. See you at the finish line on April 30th.
I'm a longtime blogger who launched A Piece of My Mind in February of 2007 as an arts blog. You can sample some of my archived posts through the top menu bar or here:
My Weekly Look at the Arts
Arts Industry Interviews
My Reviews of Great Reads
A writer myself, I had to significantly pull back my blogging schedule in order to release the two titles I currently have out, as well as serve for two years on the executive of my writers' group.
These days I post once or twice a week, focusing generally on the writing life and music.
For this year's A to Z Blog Challenge, I'll be returning to my original arts format, beginning with my great obsession -- ballet.
A is for Adagio
An adagio is a section of a ballet where the movements are slow and graceful, recalling the Italian root of the term which is at ease.
American Ballet Theatre's site describes adagios as "the opening section of the classical pas de deux [or dance for two,] in which the ballerina assisted by her male partner, performs the slow movements...in which the danseur [male dancer] lifts, supports and carries the danseuse [female dancer.] The danseuse thus supported exhibits her grace, line and perfect balance while executing developees, pirouettes, arabesques and so on, and achieves combinations of steps and poses which would be impossible without the aid of her partner."
The great paradox of the ballerina's art is the fact that all of her apparently floaty, ethereal movements are only accomplished through extreme control and strength. The Rose Adagio from the Sleeping Beauty ballet is the perfect example of her art and athleticism.
Principal dancer Heather Ogden describes the Rose Adagio in the video clip below. Keep in mind that she's in rehearsal and is not holding onto her balances in the same way as she would if she were on stage.
However, the rehearsal wobbles are a good indicator as to the degree of difficulty for this piece of choreography.
Here is the Rose Adagio as performed by the Bolshoi's Svetlana Zakharova, who danced in the War and Peace segment of the Sochi Olympics opening ceremonies.
I've never seen such balances. This Rose Adagio is a masterpiece performance.