Bird-Inspired Ballets

It’s been a pretty good season on Project Runway but I’m not sure how I felt about the most recent bird-inspired challenge.

Mostly, I’m just really disappointed that no one got the owl. The options were: a pinkish cockatoo, a green/yellow parrot, a black raven, and a tawny owl. 

One day you’re in and one day you’re out. I’m sorry owl, you’re out

Birds I wish they had included:  Flamingo. Penguin. Turkey. Peacock. Cardinal (I am from St. Louis after all!)

I know they were only using exotic birds, so there was no chance that a Swan would be in the mix, and thank heavens. You just KNOW someone would have tried to make a tutu.

If you think Swan Lake is the only bird-ballet out there THINK AGAIN!

The worst: img_0299img_0295img_0293

The Firebird – based on a Russian folk tale- there’s a wizard guy (Koshtei) who casts spells on people passing through his forest. One such traveller is Prince Ivan, who meets the ‘lovely’ spastic Firebird in the Forest, captures her, but then releases her and is granted a gift of one of her feathers. Then when Koshtei tries to turn him into stone, Ivan waves the feather in Koshtei’s face and the spell is deflected! Ivan then takes a big @ss egg that Koshtei is storing his soul in (Horcrux anyone?) and breaks it by throwing it on the ground.

The music is annoying (thanks Stravinsky), and the choreography for the Firebird (by Marius Petipa) is a big flapping mess. And I just love the idea of a Prince winning a battle by waving a feather. Fru-fru-tastic. I wish he had made a big evil omelette with that broken egg though. Someone needs to make a restaurant based on ballets. There needs to be a ‘Firebird egg omelette’.

Here’s the ideal cast: If politics were Ballet

Best Bird Ballet: 5 minute piece called ‘Lark ascending’ by Bruce Marks. the movement is balletic with contemporary and gestural touches, done by a solo female (in pointe shoes and usually a simple unitard) and four males. Mr. Marks came to Louisville to set this piece when I was there and I saw it danced by the incredible Helen Daigle. It is one of my two favorite short pieces that I’ve seen live in my life. I hope that everyone gets a chance to see it at some point- I tried my darlings to find a youtube clip but the power of the internet copyright issues has won out. (Photos in this post via: my sketchbook, Traditional Home Magazine, Elle,  and that’s me at the end)

I leave you with this poem. I think if a bird-ballet was based on me, my character would be something like this.

The Swan at Edgewater Park

Ruth L. Schwartz

Isn’t one of your prissy richpeoples’ swans
Wouldn’t be at home on some pristine pond
Chooses the whole stinking shoreline, candy wrappers, condoms
in its tidal fringe
Prefers to curve its muscular, slightly grubby neck
into the body of a Great Lake,
Swilling whatever it is swans swill,
Chardonnay of algae with bouquet of crud,
While Clevelanders walk by saying Look
at that big duck!
Beauty isn’t the point here; of course
the swan is beautiful,
But not like Lorie at 16, when
Everything was possible—no
More like Lorie at 27
Smoking away her days off in her dirty kitchen,
Her kid with asthma watching TV,
The boyfriend who doesn’t know yet she’s gonna
Leave him, washing his car out back—and
He’s a runty little guy, and drinks too much, and
It’s not his kid anyway, but he loves her, he
Really does, he loves them both—
That’s the kind of swan this is.

3 thoughts on “Bird-Inspired Ballets

  1. Pingback: If Politics were Ballet… | BODIES NEVER LIE

  2. Pingback: Written For Dance- RIOULT DANCE NY | BODIES NEVER LIE

  3. Pingback: RIOULT Dance NY Season Review | BODIES NEVER LIE

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