Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ballet shoes

I've taken a couple of dance lessons in my life.
I learnt whatever dance it is that Shaimak Davar teaches when I was about 7 or 8.
I luckily never went throught the Bharatnatyam learning phase like most Indian girls which according to me results in super large staring eyes and wide hips.
I did go on to learn salsa which was great fun. We'd do salsa nights out together with others from the class. I stopped attending this class when I went abroad to study and unfortunately when I was back my instructor had become an actor. I'm sure you've seen him in movies and ads.
Anyway, the last class I took was by Sandeep Soparrkar. I would not recommend this one. He takes dance way too seriously. For someone who just wanted to have a good time, wearing closed-back shoes with heels and not being allowed to wear jeans was really not fun. With that we also had to learn the names of the steps. I would make myself remember the word Cucaracha by telling myself it's something like Cockroach. To make things even worse, we were partnered with India's worst male dancers. This was definitely going nowhere.

Inspite of this, I have always been intrigued by dance - all kinds of dance. Even ballet.
Ok, maybe it's just a ballet shoe obsession. I thought that I had bought my first pair in 2003 but then I found this.

me (left) pulling off ballet shoes and a fountain hairstyle while posing with fruit.
For me
Female ballet dancers - beautiful, graceful, just lovely.
Male ballet dancers - umm...
What can I say? Men in tights are just plain weird. When my sister was younger she thought that the reason male ballet dancers had a protruding bump in their tights was so that the female ballet dancers could use it as a stepping stool to do their airlifts.
That seemed to be their only purpose.

I secretly always wished to be a dancer. I dreamt about it once and woke up with pain in the muscles in my legs. Yes, I take my dreams very seriously. Don't you?

I finally watched Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan.
I watched it a few days ago in the afternoon just incase it would disturb a perfect night's sleep.
This psychological thriller is modeled around Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet.
What a movie! And what a performance! Natalie Portman killed it. Yes, I did get freaked out a little. I was warned. But, I didn't listen and it was worth it. Unfortunately noone warned me about the sex content. So, watching it with your mother is probably not a good idea. Luckily my grandmother went to sleep 10 minutes into the movie.

My experience can be summarised as:
Oh no!
She needs help.
Blank expression + mute (while watching sexual content).
Hiding my embarassment under a blanket of nonchalance.
Explaining to my mom that the sexual stuff was just her imagination-like that makes it better (after realising that I've been quiet for way too long).
Not breathing. Pinching myself till the scene gets over.
Thank God its over.
Beautiful movie.

I began to wonder - Will I ever dance like that? Probably not. Especially with one foot bigger than the other. Is that normal?
I realised I would need to have a whole lot of strength in my legs to do a couple of those effortless-looking pirouettes.

And my knees aren't the strongest.
When people would say they went weak in the knees, I thought it was just an expression.
But, to be honest there have been 3 times in my life when I have actually experienced it - the actual feeling of not being able to walk.
- When I was late for my final art exam. Nervousness.
- When I met my ex boyfriend with his new girlfriend. Mixed feelings.
- And right before my sister's wedding. I don't even know why.

I'm a silly girl. What can I do?

A bouquet at the end of a performance would be lovely but, for now I'll just put the idea of becoming a prima ballerina on hold. I'll leave the dancing to the professionals and stick to just wearing the shoes.

And if you heart Tchaikovsky like me have a listen. It's the hip-hop remix of one of my favourite classical tunes - The Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy.

And here's Le Vent, a beautiful ballet video in slow motion shot at 1000 frames per second.

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