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Maria Tallchief passed away yesterday, she was an amazing ballet dancer, one of the first to put America on the map for Ballet. She was best known for her part as the Firebird. I found a movie with her commenting a little on the role. I am just amazed at her grace!

 

 

 

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So, as I mentioned last week, I went to see the Mariinsky Ballet perform The Firebird and two other pieces. It was breathtaking! I have never seen such a combination of strength, precision, and grace. I could go on and on about the music, the dancing, the costumes.

The costumes! I love that the costumes for The Firebird were so rich and ornate! I feel if an American ballet company performed this ballet they would be tempted to tone the costumes down and simplify them. But these dancers have no fear of being overwhelmed by the costume, they dominate! Bring on the myriad of colors and the sparkle! All of it deeply influenced by Russian tradition. I loved it!

I was also deeply struck by the performance of Les Sylphides. It was so lovely! It doesn’t really have a plot, but you don’t even notice. It’s just so lovely. . .

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On another note, do you want to hear about my outfit? Okay! So I wore the dress below, which has become my new favorite party dress.

Source: anthropologie.com via Trena on Pinterest

Except I removed the halter strap and wore a blue, close fitting, oxford underneath. It might sound funny, but I got a lot of complements on it so it must have looked alright. Or it was so strange looking that people thought that it should look okay.

But here is the funny thing. Have you ever seen the inside of the Kennedy Center Opera House? I have and I should have remembered that the walls, and the ceiling, and the floor, are all the exact same color red as that dress. Thank goodness I was wearing the blue shirt underneath otherwise I would have looked like a floating head as I walked around.

Igor (in suit) with Vaslav Nijinsky (as Petrushka)

Random fact of the day: today is the birthday of Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (June 17, 1882). I dare you to say Igor Fyodorvich Stravinsky three times, very fast. Without him we wouldn’t have the music for the ballets of The Firebird (L’oiseau de feu), Petrushka or The Right of Spring (Le sacre du printemps).

Most people recognize the music from The Right of Spring from Walt Disney’s film Fantasia. I think its from the part of the film with all the dinosaurs. Which is really ironic because when you think of ballet dancers you don’t tend to thing of dinosaurs. I want to say that Stravinsky was the only living composer whose work was included in Fantasia, but don’t quote me on that, I forget where I read that.

I’ve always wanted to see the Firebird since I read a biography on the ballerina Maria Tallcheif around the age of ten, unfortunately I have yet to see it! I know I have seen Petrushka, but I can’t remember exactly where. It may have been on TV. I do remember that one to be haunting and very dark, but I liked it!

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