That time I blushed watching ballet

I don’t know what has come over me: possibly the spring air or the fact that I’ve gone on a reading-binge of Georgette Heyer Regency novels, but lately I have been feeling melodramatically romantic. For example, I’ve been listening to the La Traviata opera on a weekly basis, because regular love songs aren’t tragic enough for me – what is mere true love, when you can listen to lovers sing glorious arias about their passion to one another, and then one or more of them dies, causing even more passionately pointless emoting to be sung in the most heartbreaking manner imaginable?

Yeah, it’s a mid-life teenage crisis. So much angst!

One of the musical pieces I have been listening to on repeat is Chopin’s Ballade no.1 in G minor, Op.23 – which I discovered the day I first watched this ballet video.

The first time I watched that video, I blushed. I was confused by my reaction: I’m not embarrassed when I see 2 actors in a sex scene at the movies, so why did this artistic portrayal of two people enjoying their first sexual encounter with each other confound me so much? Possibly because I never associated sex with ballet; I always considered ballet to be similar to opera – emotional and beautiful, but completely divorced from reality. And yet here, the dancers portray so honestly the vulnerability that comes from sleeping with someone and falling into love with them, that it seems a violation of their privacy to watch it.

Vanilla enough for you?

I am aware of a certain irony when contrasting my present mood with my upcoming trip to Vegas. Somehow, I doubt that I will survive that trip without a few vivid blushes.


FYI – That is an extract from a ballet called La Dame aux Camélias (based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas, fils, which happens to also be the inspiration for the story in La Traviata), choreographed by John Neumeier, in the late 1970s. Those two dancers are amongst the best of their generation, and the ballerina, Sylvie Guillem, is still considered a front-runner for greatest ballerina of all time, despite being retired for the past few years.





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