Picture song- and the purpose of art

It’s tech week for me and the ballet company.  We just had our last run

Katie in the studio
through in the studio. This is great great news because I happen to live about 40 minutes away so I’m thrilled to not face that long expensive drive anymore! Though, it is the perfect amount of time for my morning coffee to absorb into my bloodstream before class. Hello caffeine kick!

I’m trying not to stress too much over the fact that I was not happy with the last run through. There’s an old superstition that a bad dress rehearsal means a great opening night, so hopefully a terrible last-day-in-the-studio means smooth sailing on stage. Bonus points to me for using so much alliteration. 

Embarrassing fact about me: I love the BBC family show, ‘Merlin’. It’s sort of the UK’s version of ‘Smallville’ – the show about Superman as a young up-and-comer.  Merlin, Guinevere, Arthur, and Morgana of popular legend are young adults and not yet an all powerful sorcerer, sorceress, King, or Queen. I love it for many reasons: the legends and stories, the visual aspect (it’s beautifully shot with a real castle in France, and the costumes are gorgeous), the elements of magic, the campy humor, and its heart. I like the main characters, especially Anthony Head as King Uther- who some people might remember as Giles from ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer (gosh, this keeps getting progressively more and more embarrassing). And the cherry on top of my humiliation- I’m a little bit in love with the guy who plays Merlin, Colin Morgan, even if he is skinnier and paler than I am. It may also be that I am in love with just about any wizard boy, given my adoration of Harry Potter.

I think truly I love it because it is such a form of escapism, it is pure entertainment without asking for anything in return. There are also moments with certain characters where their actions make me think about my own qualities, relationships, and experiences. There are universal problems that I think everyone faces, whether you’re a modern-day ballerina or a knight of the round table. And the show does a good job of touching on those things with a good mix of cheesy romance, action, magic, and myth.

I think that art serves different purposes; there is the stuff that is SUPPOSED  to make you think- about yourself or the world, or politics or ethics or whatever. There is art that is supposed to be an escape into a world of beauty. There is art that exists as catharsis for the artist or even to make the viewer question what ART is in the first place. I think a lot of the art that I like, especially with new choreography in the dance world, is art that can stand on its own as a piece of entertainment and if you choose to look for a ‘deeper meaning’, is nuanced and expressive enough to give that as well. I am happy to be entertained by beautiful dancing and if I can leave a theatre feeling like something was communicated or somehow conjured up memories or plants a seed of idea, I couldn’t ask for more. Art often helps me sort out and deal with troubles as well as being inspiring and entertaining.

This video maybe hasn’t changed my perspective on the world but it puts a smile on my face.  So whether it’s art or entertainment or just plain silliness, I’m glad it exists. And maybe art just exists to be appreciated.

So if you’re in St. Louis, and you’re coming to see me in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ this weekend at Edison Theatre, I hope that whether it changes your life of just changes your mood for an hour or two, that you appreciate it.

6 thoughts on “Picture song- and the purpose of art

  1. Oh, Jess. I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed a blog post more. You win the coveted Laugh of the Day Award.

    Merde on Midsummer this weekend…I’m sure it will be beautiful if you’re dancing in it!

  2. “There are universal problems that I think everyone faces, whether you’re a modern-day ballerina or a knight of the round table.”

    “We’re knights of the round table! We dance whene’er we’re able! We do routines and chorus scenes and footwork impeccable!” from Spamalot


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