Familiar Art with a Familiar Background

Today I wanted to share a different form of Art I experienced over the weekend — one many of you have seen, tried, or heard about.


I went to see the Russian Ballet Theatre‘s production of Swan Lake Saturday evening.

Now, I have an affinity for Tchaikovsky. He and I have been buds since I went to see a performance of his work at the outdoor Ravinia Outdoor Music Festival back when I was in my 20s. His music is upbeat, physical, inspirational and powerful. Think of the 1812 Overture or Waltz of the Flowers.

His music for Swan Lake was amazing as well. As were the dancers.

According to Wikipedia, “(Ballet) its origins are in the Italian Renaissance courts of 15th and 16th centuries. Ballet originated in the Renaissance court as an outgrowth of court pageantry in Italy, where aristocratic weddings were lavish celebrations. Tutus, ballet slippers and pointe work were not yet used. The choreography was adapted from court dance steps.”

Dance steps are an understatement.

These dancers — the principal dancers, the ballerina and ballerino — are the most marvelous purveyors of movement on the planet. They are limber, strong, lithe, and in sync with the music, the movement, and the moment.

When we — I — think of the Arts, I tend to think of painters, quilters, writers, and the like. People with whom I have some sort of contact with. 

I know no dancers nor professional entertainers, but that does not mean that they are not the cream of the crop, top of the game, master creators, all of that.

Tchaikovsky and the Russian Ballet were a perfect combination of emotion, non-emotion, movement, strength, smiles, and perfection. So wonderful to watch.

At the same time Odette was dancing one of the most popular piece in the ballet, Act 2 – No.10 Scène (Moderato), the north-eastern city of Sumy was under heavy fire as Russian troops destroyed residential neighborhoods and infrastructure. Part of Okhtyrka, the city in Sumy Oblast, was destroyed by Russian artillery. For the second day, the city had no heat, electricity and water. (MSN)

The group is a U.S. business with dancers from nearly a dozen countries. (MSJ).   Eight dancers for Milwaukee performance were from Ukraine, along with other dancers from Russia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, Armenia, Poland and Slovenia.

The troupe had nothing to do with politics.

“We are against the war,” said Gulya Hartwick, producer for the Russian Ballet Theatre. “We hope that people come to support the dancers, who are ‘dancing with tears in their eyes.'” Pretty heavy stuff for an art that demands so much physically and mentally of its participants.

It was a beautiful evening. The dancers were point-on, the music delightful, the atmosphere sparkling and full of beauty and love.

I only wish I could say the same thing for these poor people and their country.

Support the Arts.