For The Chronicle of Higher Education, Jacques Berlinerblau has written a delightful article about his 6 year-old son’s new-found passion for ballet:
Ballet needs boys like the National Hockey League needs the peace-loving Amish. Ballet needs boys like biblical scholarship needs women.
This truism was confirmed at his tryouts which featured: 1) a thousand leotarded little girls with their hair tied back in cringing, tensile buns, 2) a thousand cringing, tensile mothers, and, 3) two little boys marshaling the sum of their cognitive faculties to figure out what was unusual about this scene.
I confess to feeling a bit guilty when mommies congratulate me on my son’s acceptance into the Washington Ballet’s “Creative Movement” class; so rare are male participants that unless a boy detonates a suicide belt during the audition he’s basically going to get in (the mere possession of the explosive device itself is not sufficient grounds to disqualify these treasured commodities)…
…But then, just when I thought I couldn’t be enjoying this whole experience any more, tragedy struck. It happened on the ride home after school. Strapped in to their respective booster seats my son and his two buddies made a bee line for the intersection of gender and stupidity.
“You do ballet!” screeched the first one. If that other little schmuck says “ballet is for girls,” I thought to myself, he’s going out the window in that booster seat. He then said that, though he didn’t use the word “girls.”
Later that evening, the child was inconsolable. He lamented: “Like, (sniff) half the kids in ballet are (sniff), are girls” (an inaccurate observation which confirms my hunch that aesthetes rarely grow up to be demographers).
read all via The Chronicle of Higher Education
Photo: Julian MacKay, who trains at the Bolshoi Academy, Moscow
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.