Art can save your life. And it’s meant to.
I’ve found, in this difficult time i’ve somehow plummeted into–this phestering psychosis propagated by diurnal delusions, maliciously maniacal, avariciously afflicted–is best treated with heavy doses of ballet.
I’ve spent much of the week burrowing into filmographies and laboring through waking life, and i’ve been unable to read more than a few sentences strung together. Even of my own, i find my words quite worthless and meaningless and so i’ve stopped reading them in case i end up deleting it all, which would be rather unfortunate. To safeguard against myself, i went so far as to e-mailing my oeuvre to myself, an odd internal war i seem to be fighting with and against the person i am.
Anycase, that wasn’t the point. The point is ballet. It’s hard to say where it started or why, but maybe Stravinsky or Prokofiev or even admirable Tchaikovsky are to blame for creating such breathtaking music, for ecstatic movements and undilutable beauty. Or maybe it’s because i met this girl and the fact that she was a ballerina amused and excited me. In anycase, i’ve become quite taken with it. It’s an art of the highest order, standing firmly in its own arena and speaking in the purest of voices: the voiceless kind, the language of music and bodies. It’s a language which cannot lie, and for that, to me, it’s the most perfect and, in my own fumbled attempts at artistry, it’s what i’m always reaching for, a transcendence, a way to make words so much more than just words, but make them something true, something that matters, to move beyond these trivial signifiers that i hate and love in equal measure. But music and bodies, they’re so perfect and so, well, perfect. And when i watch ballet, i fall in love, not with a person or myself, but with existence and it moves me beyond my body and these walls and i breathe in air and know that it’s there. And it matters, to me. The poetry of bodies, singing, radiating. And the aesthetics of ballet are perfect for my mind and i only recently realised, i think, what it is that defines beauty to me. It’s an important realisation, but maybe all of you already know what you believe beauty to be. I wasn’t fortunate in that regard and fumbled through millenniums of religions, philosophies, mythologies, stories, words words words, only to find what mattered, and it’s what matters in a fundamental way and we’re born knowing it, i think. But we forget. Or i do. Maybe only i did. Lost Beauty and searched for Her everywhere but didn’t even know Her name anymore. So i called out, reached out, turned out the lights, turned them back on, and when i came home, She was there already wondering why i left in the first place. But i think i know it now. Understand it, maybe. And ballet fits well inside Her. A brilliant birth, the advent of ballet, only a few centuries old, too. The lines, the movements, the music, the faces, the arms, the legs, the ground they leave and the air they lust after. There’s so much precision and grace. That kind of grace i’ve desired for countless lives only to find it in a pure form, digestible. It was real and it was magic.
What i meant to do was just post a video but i got stuck talking, typing, rather, and my fingers can’t help themselves when they get a keyboard under them. One word multiplies and then the day’s gone by and i’ve piled fifty pages into a document that i can’t read. I haven’t been writing, though, except for the random burst of a story i wrote the other day, which, really, isn’t a story but more an exercise in grammatical labyrinths, trying to Daedalus my way through all these insipid words i heap and heap and heap until i’m drowning in them, much like this post.
Marianela Nunez is a true talent and she’s radiant here playing Odile.
She plays it masterfully and with great intelligence, for what could be more menacing, more evil, than the smile of a beautiful woman? But, aside from the acting bit, she’s an incredible performer, and if i had been born a woman, i would dream endlessly of being a dancer. Miss Nunez, she’s taken a bit of me with her, i think, and i’ve very much a fan.
And then, because i feel like it and the Royal Ballet has many of its performances online, i’m dropping the final act of Swan Lake in here, which is brilliant, and i almost wept at the end.
Ballerinas have wondrous bodies, i think. I like my women thin, perilously thin, maybe, to my own fault, and i don’t like large breasts. They seem clunky and clumsy and i don’t know what i’d do with them. Ballerinas have great poise, and i like legs, strong but elegant. Their bodies are a unique poetry, the poetry of Tennyson, perhaps, whereas, say, the normal person’s body has the poetry of a sixteen year old drunkard bellowing into the night. The body of a dancer or anyone, really, who works in a performance type art [sports, too, i’d qualify] has to be its own piece of art. The arms of a boxer, the back of a swimmer, the legs of pitcher, all of these are, in their own perfect way, pieces of art. The most perfect kind, mind, because it goes beyond simply being a piece or an instrument or an object.
I like Anna Pavlova, too, though there are few videos of her, owing to the temporal problem of film being in its infancy during her life. She’s an interesting dancer, almost clumsy, but ecstatic in her movements, and, somehow, perfect, transcendent, like every movement contains all of her, and it’s that kind of reckless artistry that should be admired.
That last video is over 100 years old.Seems so very strange to me. That piece, The Dying Swan, was created specifically for her. Many have gone on to perform it, including Miss Nunez, but i can’t seem to find her performance online. I still know next to nothing about ballet, but it soothes me and it’s cast a rope ladder down in this hole, and maybe i can climb out soon.
A more recent performance of The Dying Swan.
That’s probably enough from me, yes?