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May 16, 2004

Swan Lake, Act I


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Swan Lake was performed at the ballet on Saturday night. As do most classical ballets. Swan Lake simply drips romance, and ends in tragedy, if unlike Esther Hicks channeling Abraham , you consider death a tragedy.

The ballet begins on the castle lawn as Siegfried, the prince, is coming of age. After a rollicking ten minutes, his mother, the queen, disapprovingly interrupts the pick-up birthday celebration with his drinking buddies and the locals. In this production, his mother is played by a retired favorite ballerina, who often, in the past, danced the part of the main squeeze swan. In spite of her impressive 800 pound costume, she was recognized and applauded by those in the audience who follow these things. Mother, the queen, is carrying Sig's birthday present, which she presents to him.-- a nifty, new, gold-pinstriped crossbow . The crossbow is important.

A party on a lawn or in the village square is a popular opening sequence in a "story" ballet. It provides many opportunities for leaping, locking elbows while twirling with silver goblets in hand, and dancing to themes taken from traditional folk music. It also gets the audience in a good mood; we were all happy that we came.

This company's Seigfried, a brand new hire, has the small disadvantage of looking exactly like ER's Dr. John Carter , Noah Wyle. Since he is Cuban, only performing in Cuba and Europe, he has probably never been associated with ER, and his striking resemblence has not affected his career as a balledondo. For me, seeing a doctor in the romantic lead, even one with such a great butt, was a bit of a damper. Even Noah Wyle says about his character “I wouldn’t want to be Dr. Carter’s patient. He’s extremely well meaning and eager to do a good job and be noticed for doing a good job, but he’s a klutz who is easily overcome by pressure". Cute, but not the makings of a prince-to-die-for.

Mother reminds Sig about the official palace party the next evening, where he is expected to get down to prince business and chose a princess with whom to settle down and procreate. Six eligible princesses have been invited to the fete for his perusal. He is bummed, since this will be the end of sowing wild oats .

Fortuitiously, as the scene comes to an end, he sees a flock of wild swans flying overhead, and decides to take out his aggression and disappointment by killing a few of them with his new crossbow. This did not endear him to me. At the end of the first act, we see him leaping, alone, into the forest, toward the mysterious lake where the swans hang.

I have a few swan photos, having communed with them energetically once in a while --no Wonder Bread involved. Therefore I will draw out this story, so I can use the photos.

Posted by Dakota at May 16, 2004 09:35 PM