|Image via La Wik|
A friend was telling me about her niece who had once danced with the Atlanta Ballet. It's quite a hard business to get into, actually a lot like professional sports - many start training as children and put in long hours because of the love of the thing. But few make it to the Big Leagues. A lot drop out along the way because injuries can be quite serious, ending promising careers before they even begin.
And before you tell me that yes, but it's still frou-frou, let me just say Louis XIV, the Sun King himself danced the ballet. L'etat, c'est moi: I am the State and the State damn well better dance if it knows what's good for it. Err, the translation is a little bold, but you catch my drift.
And so instead of frou-frou, it's perhaps better for the casual ballet observer to think of the dances as baseball innings, or football downs. You have great athletes (yes, there's no other term for the performers), great music, and - especially in today's selection from the Nutcracker - a set of different dances that you can think of as third and long (Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy) or first and goal (Russian Dance). While it might seem declassé to analyze the art on display this way, this gives the dancers the due that they've earned for the really brutal training and weeding out that they've been through.
And steel toe shoes are hot. If I'm lying, I'm dieing.
Hopefully my friend will still talk to me after this post ...