things about art

The Ballet

Have you ever been to see a ballet?

Like, a real ballet? This past spring the Alonzo King Lines Ballet performed at the Virginia Tech Moss Arts Center. Before the event, I had only seen ballet performed by local dance companies (ex. an end of the year recital, my town’s annual production of the Nutcracker).

I went on somewhat of a whim, my two main motivations for going being to actually go in the arts center (it’s new since I last lived in Blacksburg) and to spend time with a friend.

I was blown away.

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Here are some of my thoughts from watching the performance…

The very first thing I noticed was the dancers’ muscles. You would have too. We didn’t have great seats, but even a flinch of movement pointed out how defined the dancer’s calves were. To me this signified how these are not just performers, these are athletes. I thought of how much they must have practiced to be so strong and lean.

The next thing I noticed was the gentle slap of feet sweeping and landing on the wood floor, and the wind swooshing between dancers’ arms as they swooped their hands through the air. The sound in the room was GOOD. I liked how the sound of the dancer’s bodies was part of the performance. It felt down to earth, and real.

Following the previous two, as I resonated on the sights and sounds, I thought about the role of the human body in the performance. Dance is such a human activity and experience. These professionals had me in awe of what the human body can do.

Speaking of what the human body can do, I would have NEVER thought that men could be SO graceful!! Many times, I would try to pick out the most graceful dancer on the stage, and would decide on a man. There was one man who could twirl on his toes as if he was made of ribbon. It was beautiful, and surprising.

Finally, the second act incorporated sounds of nature and the outdoors (one “song” featured animals around a watering hole in Africa). These primitive noises juxtaposed with beautiful, though more rash and crude, human movements calmed me and prodded me to think deeper of the history of human movement throughout time.

I really enjoyed the experience, and it reminded me of my own passion for kinesthetic experiences. I have always loved sports that require precise, strong body movements like dance, gymnastics, and swimming. I left the night feeling not only uplifted and relaxed but also inspired. If you’ve never been to a ballet, I highly recommend it!

Would you go to a ballet?

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