Shadow and Light

The other night and also last week in the Tuesday class, White Swan wasn’t wearing her little white shrug sweater… she was all in black… so U. was calling her "Black Swan"… which works out cleverly on so many levels, right? One of the most famous ballets of all time is Swan Lake, which features the good but foully (heh) ensorcelled Odette and the evil pawn-of-her-father Odile. Usually that ballet is presented with one dancer playing both roles, wearing a white tutu as Odette and a black one as Odile.

Stupid ballet princes have never learned that a black tutu is a bad thing… and they go ahead and marry the evil swan or kill the good swan by mistake all the time.

But that whole metaphor of good and evil being hard to tell apart is so interesting, particularly in the way it plays out in dance, because obviously there is choreography that is sinewy and lovely and graceful for the good girl as well as choreography that is bold and dashing and arrogant for the bad girl.

And you want both kinds of dancing!

So this is another ballet paradox that spellbinds me (OK, this blog should be called "The Many Paradoxes of Ballet," not "The Zen of Ballet," but, like, who’d read that? LOL).
 

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