Sunday, January 25, 2009

To be a ballerina

I never realized how much I've compartmentalized my life until I saw the documentary "Ballerina" today. I spent twelve years of my life immersed in ballet, and if it had been more financially feasible to become a dancer in the Philippines, I think I might have given it a shot. But I quit ballet at 19 and moved on to other things. I've since then been a wandering intern in Europe, an editor, a biergarten hostess, a PR minion and now an international civil servant. Somewhere along the way, I lost track of something that's truly part of my soul, and that's my deep love for dance.

This documentary moved me. It follows the lives of 5 ballerinas in the Kirov Ballet, a company that's always been mythical in my eyes. They follow ballerinas who are in different stages of their career, from the dancer who has just joined the corps de ballet to a prima ballerina recovering from an injury and re-entering the stage. Diana Vishneva (pictured above) is one of the phenomenally talented women featured. What was most fascinating to me was to see the personalities behind the image you see onstage. It was also inspiring to see the passion and dedication that they have for what they do.

I will never dance at the level these women do. Heck, I won't ever even be able to dance at the level I stopped at 9 years ago. But seeing that movie made me fall in love with ballet all over again, and I'm looking to bring it back into my life, if only to take a class now and then or see a show. At the very least, it's made me determined to do something good for my soul again.

6 comments:

Tanya said...

I saw excerpts from a similar documentary on youtube. The one I watched is called 'a beautiful tragedy'.. it's quite eye opening, but not at all surprising (I grew up in the former USSR). Anyway, you might like 'A beautiful Tragedy' - you can find it here: http://www.davidkinsella.com/v1/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=32. (I think you can watch the whole thing online, but I'm not sure)

The Chiconomist Celine said...

Thanks for the tip Tanya! I will definitely check that out. It sounds a little sad though ... is it?

Tanya said...

I haven't watched the whole thing - just bits and pieces on youtube, but it looks like it might be sad.

I also ended up watching The Ballerina on youtube last night. It was in french though (is there an English version?)... I understood all the Russian interview parts and about 1 in 3 words in French, so that was interesting. Good documentary tough.

The Chiconomist Celine said...

Yes there's an English version! They're showing it in New York now. You might find it on youtube also. I'm glad you liked it! I'll definitely check out the one you suggested!

bigpinkfuzzybunny said...

I should offer this corection: The main photo for this entry is not Vishneva, but YAGP participant Kara Hanretty, c. 2006 (now with Ballet Arizona ).

I actually travelled a ways to see her compete in 2007! (in which this dazzling photo was used as the cover for their program that year!)

today's secret word: "sestral" (!)

celine said...

Oh wow thank you for that! That's what I get for grabbing stuff off Google :-(

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