Saturday, October 23, 2010

At the Ballet

I like the ballet, classical ballet rather than modern, although these days I don't get to it as often as I would like. From the opening notes when the orchestra members are tuning their instruments to the last curtain call and the lights come on, I am in another world. As Sheila sings in A Chorus Line, everything is always beautiful at the ballet.

That is why I am indebted to Byter Vince for sending me a video of a performance of part of Swan Lake by the Great Chinese State Circus Ballet Company.

Ironically, earlier today I was discussing with my wife and a friend the decline of the traditional circus. This has come about partly because of opposition to circus animals being confined and made to perform demeaning tricks but also partly because of changed tastes and demands. The decline of the traditional circus has seen a corresponding rise in alternative circuses such as Cirque de Soleil.

The Great Chinese State Circus presents Chinese circus arts to European audiences by regular tours. The acts included martial arts from the Shaolin Temple, artists from the Peking Opera, lion dancing, plate spinning, aerial silk acts and a combination of dances and contortionism.

The following clip of Swan Lake is an amazing performance that must be viewed to be appreciated.

The principal ballerina is awesome. She conveys the feeling of a swan in flight with ease and makes some positions that must be a strain look easy. For the ballet purists, remember that is a circus, not a strict ballet company. Perhaps there should be a new dance category, Extreme Ballet

I will say no more, have a look at:

For those who would like some further unusual ballet that also has an inspirational elementl, see Ma Li and Zhai Xiaowei in the video clip below. He has one leg, she has one arm…

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