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May 01, 2017 10:34 am
:: The elegance that is ballet
Jun 09, 2012 10:44 am
Could ballet be an art or exquisite sequences of something beautiful, skilful and emotional? Does it affect or appeal to one's senses specially with its delicate movements and the pleasure derived by watching it?

In Solomon's Song of Song, the dance girl of Shulam, whose eyes sparkled like jewels, braided hair like satin and who resembled a sheaf of wheat swaying in the breeze.

Can we attribute all these qualities to a ballerina?

Ballet originated in the vast continent of Russia where emperors like Czar Alexander II and titled personages entered concert halls lit with ornamented wall brackets holding gas jets to watch ballet performances, dilly-dally with ballerinas and present them with bits of jewellery.

Petersburg society, princes and counts had capricious of fairs with them, shared champagne in little Viennese decanters and ate fresh oysters steeped in mayonnaise sauce.

They met furtively in Darmstadh's secretive restaurants too. Moscow's ballet theatres were based on the Cafe Chantant du Paris. Leo Phillibert (1836 – 91) composed music for ballets such as Sylvio and Coppelia. Pyotr Tchaikovsky also wrote several symphonies. Vivaldi; Beethoven and Schubert Fantz composed piano music specially for ballet.

Socialites such as Anna Karenina attended a theatrical ballet entertainment. Dressed in a velvet trimmed silk gown cut low and perfumed white gloves she caused admiration from those who did not wish to have social contact with her.

Pavlovo is perhaps the 'Prima' ballerina whose supple body movements made it appear as if she danced in mid-air.

Her tender postures in 'Giselle' unveiled her broken heart. In the 'Dying Swan' she conveyed the tragedy of death after keeping a tryst with her lover.

The audience responded with tears. Natasha Ladunova danced as the 'Sea Queen' in the famous Maryinski theatre and Czar Nicholas was attracted to this dazzling beauty. The famous duo Margot Fontaine had a renowned Russian ballet partner in Rudolf Nureyev.

Dance troupes still present the 'Nut Cracker' and 'Snow Queen' because they are popular.

Ballerinas' costume consists of the 'tutu' a brief, ankle-length skirt of layers of stiffened frills and a body hugging tunic embossed with diamanthe or crystal beads. Soft satin shoes have tie-up ribbons.

Frou-frou in French means “rustle and swish of a ballerina skirt”. Perhaps it reflects the wonder of ballet!

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