Last week it was my birthday. And to celebrate my aging yet further into oblivion, my parents took me to a ballet performance of Romeo and Juliet. Which was pretty much what you’d expect it to be – a story danced out with tights and way too much drama. The dancing itself was wonderful, but when it comes to throwing in a storyline, everything goes to crap. Or if you’d like it in math form: dancing alone = great, then + a plot and it’s a bunch of flamboyant hacks prancing around in pleather.
If real-life sword fighting required that much jumping, no one would have the stamina to take on a single dual. They’d be winded after their first pass. Inigo Montoya wouldn’t have been able to stab anyone with all those leg flourishes getting in the way, let alone a guy with an extra finger.*
Anyway, the whole reason we went to a ballet (vs. some other artsy event, which I generally enjoy), stems from my childhood hobbies. From the time I was old enough to point a toe all the way through junior college, I participated in dance. And though I enjoyed it, it’s a fact that amazes me to this day. I have no performance face, being in front of people is un-enjoyable, and I prefer something to hide behind. Like words and an infinite amount of cyberspace. Why else would I become a writer who shares satirical (but true) posts about break ups and childhood heroes?
Yet I performed publically for years. Rather than developing a tolerance for being in the limelight, I’ve since worked on a recipe for blending in. Like I am the Benjamin Button of acting. One who has already peaked.
Ballet as One of the Most Difficult Practices Ever
If you’ve never take a ballet lesson, it’s super hard. There are countless toe and leg positions, and until you perfect them, a teacher walks around with a stick yelling in French. Essentially scaring you in to performing properly. (Not that this happened to me.) Watching it may be impressive and almost gravity defying, but standing at a bar — that doesn’t serve alcohol — for hours on end isn’t exactly a good time. And all the rules – hair in buns, leotards (the most uncomfortable piece of clothing to have ever been invented) – it’s all so particular. Which is why I have the utmost respect for anyone who displays the lower leg strength that is ballet. They could probably lift more weight with the knee down than I could with my entire body. And it took them years of daily practice to do so.
Instead, I have a bum ankle that acts up whenever the weather’s about to change. As soon as it starts cracking more than usual – approx. five times per day – and aching in that growing pain-type of way, I know something weatherly is about to happen. And then I walk it off until it stops hurting and self heals, like the joint version of a tin cup.
Besides, ballet in particular is pretty much the most boring type of dance. If Cirque du Soleil is the fast crowd in high school, the ballerinas are the homeschooled kids who are three years younger, but at your same level of academics. And everyone hates them.
Also there is nothing attractive about men in tights.
But I swear I liked it, Mom and Dad (sincereoid). Thanks for incorporating such a thoughtful gift to an ungrateful child’s day of birth.
*These theater folk REALLY follow the eye-for-an-eye mantra, don’t they?