Confessions of a Confused Foodie
Swans- The other White Meat’
By Heifer Poultrypig
Is it wrong of me to assume that any event warranting press these days in the arts is centered around food? Yes, dance, music, and art critics everywhere are losing jobs but staff positions and columns for food reviews thunder on- like so many obese people taking the stairs- which doesn’t ever happen. We all know that fatties take the elevator and pretty much any criticism out there these days centers on food.
When I heard that Louisville Ballet was doing a performance entitled ‘Swan Lake’, one of the classic ‘white ballets’, I thought , “oh great!” Duck is a little gamey and chicken oh-so-passe, but swan? I have never tried it. And I only go in for white meat poultry anyways.
So first there’s this wizard guy who’s turning women into swans. He must be the head chef. Then some royalty shows up in the Village and everyone puts on a show, a beautiful show, granted (especailly the tricky variations of the three soloists in the ‘pas de trois’) but a long one. I”m never opposed to ‘dinner and a show’ but come on, I’m a grubby American like the rest of them. At least serve us some bread while you’re hopping around. At the end of act one, the prince recieves a bow an arrow as a gift. I guess he’s a butcher on the side of his princely duties.
So by act two, I’m getting really hungry which is ok, because everythign tastes better when you haven’t eaten for a while. So out come all these swans. I’m thinking, ‘this is going to be one tasty buffet!’ but unlike lobster picking in restaurants, I was having a difficult time selecting which to have grilled for my epicurean pleasure. They all looked too alike, willowy and in perfect synchronization. They say ducks fly together, and I suppose swans do to. I kept waiting for the chubby one to come out that would be easy for the butcher-prince to pick off for me. Besides, an extra layer of fat makes that nice, crispy skin.
Enter, the main course; head swan Odette (Mikelle Bruzina). While her dancing was extremely succulent-, I’m not sure how she would have been on the plate. She had practically no meat on her. Though in her solo variation, she displayed the beauitful extension of her legs in her developpe a la secdond (a slow, high lifting of the leg to the side). I wouldn’t mind an order of those drumsticks.
Anyways, I’m sitting there practically starving when act 3 begins. This is supposed to be the big ball, the festival, so I’m praying that I’ll finally be fed. In come the guests and a bunch of A-lister princesses. They are just like all of the reality cooking show hosts, (Padma from Top Chef, Kelly from Top Chef Masters)- basically these skinny beautiful girls who don’t look they’d know duck l’orange if it hit them in the face. Good, go ahead an keep dancing lovely ladies, more for me! There’s suposed to be a black swan coming out, sounds exotic. I’m pretty excited about the appetizers though, I see Neopolitan on the list. I LOVE ice cream! I kind of ignored the Spanish dancers. What comes out of Spain, sulinary wise? Some spicy rice? No thank you. Kudos to the spicy dancers, but I’ll save my heart-burn for something smothered in cheese. I was really looking forward to the Neopolitan, but was sadly disappointed. In came two gorgeous dancers- Robert Dunbar and Christy Corbitt Miller, white as Vanilla, who performed a spectacular and exciting dance that left them red in the face like strawberry. BUt where was the chocolate? Louisville Ballet needs some diversity in the form of some chocolate magic, especailly if the are serving neopolitan ice cream, which they DIDN’T! I completely ignored the Russian. While everyone around me oohed and ahhed at dancer Helen Daigle’s beauty and charm, I could care less. I’m not a fan of beats- dancer jumps or the icky vegetable. There was another dance with tricky percussive footwork after that, but I couldn’t even hear the rhythm of the dancers working together over the rumbling of my empty tummy.
Finally, that swan came out. I”m not a fan of dark meat, so I was hoping she was called ‘black’ because she was drowned in black truffle butter. This would probably make her the most expensive piece of poultry on the planet, and let me tell you, dancer Mikelle Bruzina’s performance was worth every would-be penny. It was gourmet dancing at it’s finest.She looks a little evil, but everything delicious has a touch of sin to it. But just as she had whetted butcher/prince and my appetites, she vanishes with head chef rothbart (the evil wizard chef) leaving us broken-hearted and still hungry. Cholesterol be damned, come back truffle swan!
So by now, I’m pretty mad. Not only ha this poor prince been trying to track down some dinner for the past three acts, but I still haven’t even received a drink. Is this not Swan Lake? I’m assuming if we’re at a Lake, it shouldn’t be too hard to fetch me some water. Out troop the swans again. At this point, I’m feeling like a ‘Biggest Loser’ contestant having a ‘temptation challenge’ shoved in my face. Ok, again, they’re lovely, now let’s cook them. I had heard that Swan Lake is a tragic ballet, so I’m expecting a slow, simmering death for the entree white swan, possibly at the hands of her estranged lover prince who just so happens to be carrying that cross-bow around with him. While I’m picturing a spit-style rotisserie swan barbeque, the prince uses his weapon to instead slay the chef Rothbart. Now I’m really feeling like the biggest loser; no swan dinner and no chance of meeting up with this wiz who can conjure a potential feast out of another girl. While the ballet ended on a triumphant note, I feel sorely disappointed. I may have been delivered a balletic masterpiece from the artists of the Louisville Ballet, but I was left in my own jilted love-story without a fine culinary creation. It’s nice for the prince that he gets the swan-turned-back-into-girl at the end, but I’m stuck without dinner, watching Rachel Ray again.