La Sylphide, ballet and granddaughters

Tickets to the ballet, La Sylphide, formed part of John’s and my Christmas present from one of my daughters. The gift also included the company of my daughter and three of my adult granddaughters at the theatre last Saturday night.

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Such joy, although tinged with sadness because their other sister wasn’t with us. A post-graduate Law student at Australian National University, she lives in Canberra.

Thirty-two years ago, I witnessed my first granddaughter, in a gum-nut baby costume with a pink frill around her bonnet, come on to a ballet stage. My knowledge and love of ballet has been largely formed through three almost continuous decades  of attending ballet-school concerts, courtesy of my daughter and these four beautiful young women. Through them, I have also learned ballet ‘language’.

The youngest, a sixteen-year old, still learns ballet. This is her thirteenth year, and she dances beautifully. She also skate-boards six kilometres to her classes after school. Her mother picks her and the board up after class. A proud grandmother? Oh, yes!

A new crop of potential ballet dancers emerged recently. Three of my great-grandchildren now attend classes. My life as a doting audience member continues. I can watch again with pride as a new generation performs on stage. Their insistence on showing me their ‘positions’ delights me and I love to watch them dance wherever they choose.

As a child I wanted to be a ballerina, a desire my mother thwarted because, she said, I was too tall, too heavy. Now I live that dream vicariously through my descendants.

About La Sylphide

La Sylphide, a romantic story set in Scotland. On the morning  his wedding, Scotsman James is tempted by a sylph who wakes him. A witch foretells the fortunes of many of the guests gathering for the wedding and predicts that James will not marry Effie. Instead she will marry his friend, Gurn.

James eventually follows La Sylphide into the forest, leaving the grieving Effie on her wedding day. La Sylphide  continues to tempt him, but cruelly evades his advances. The witch and her cronies create a spell and use a scarf which they impregnate with poison. The witch gives this to James to help him capture the elusive sylph.

He finally wraps the scarf around her, and she sickens, her wings fall off, and she dies.

You can read more about the plot of the ballet here.

As one of my granddaughters said during interval,

How interesting to see classical ballet with Scottish dancers in kilts!

Watching the wonderful dancers led me to think about their knees. Knees are often on my mind these days. High leaps, bounding leaps across the stage. For every leap, there was also a landing, but these dancers performed with consummate skill and lightness.

La Sylphide, performed by the West Australian Ballet Company, shows classical ballet at its best. The season continues until 2nd June 2018. (This is not a sponsored post. I’d simply like anyone who loves ballet to consider seeing this.)

Thanks again Jenny and Simon for our gift.

Love the ballet? Let us know in a comment.

4 thoughts on “La Sylphide, ballet and granddaughters

  1. Oh yes Maureen, how well I can relate to your being told you are too tall to dance, to learn ballet. Even at school, the nuns paralled my mother and insisted I could only take the male role in whatever. But my soul remained free, I can soar with these magical people, even if they are clad in kilts. Again, thank you Maureen for your wonderful blog – l shall soar all day.

    • What a lovely response, ElizabethB. I loved your wise advice yesterday that we should not let what we cannot do influence what we can do. It seems to fit with dancing, somehow.

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