To strive; to do your best, to try your utmost. To ballet is to strive. As an arts-form it is unique; it requires sweat and grace and beauty and pain.
What makes ballet special? It’s human endeavour in silk shoes. Ballet is fixed steps, linked to each other, to create an infinite variety of dances. It requires discipline, strength and vigorous training to master. It’s uplifting, exhilarating, emotional, tragic. It’s your feelings, without voice. It’s your body; on a stage, in perfect harmony, symmetry and balance. It’s pearls in front of your eyes.
Ballet grew out of the Royal court of Louis XIV, where it spread as an aristocratic recreation across Europe. Whilst ballet classes for little girls are quite popular in Britain; in France and Russia they are a rite of passage and much more egalitarian. Go to the Bolshoi in Moscow and you will be in a packed theatre, men and women dressed up to the nines; all ages; all incomes; all enthralled.
See a ballet; afterwards you will walk taller, breathe deeper, be a more graceful human. You will want to try. You will want to go again.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Ballet
The Life of a Royal Ballet Dancer; Telegraph
No Way Home: A Cuban Dancer’s Story; Carlos Acosta
Featured Photo Credit: Demo.Joomlaux.com