Tuesday, December 20, 2011

David Hallberg

I could call myself a musician, but I am more than just that. I am a writer, I used to be a dancer, I am definitely a wife, mother, and grandmother, and I like to analyze - everything - words, pictures, actions, and the subtle tells that go with them.

I saw David Hallberg, for the first time, on the Cobert show. Hallberg is the young American ballet dancer, with the American Ballet Theater, who joined the Bolshoi Ballet to dance Sleeping Beauty. On the Cobert show, he seemed to defy gravity like no other dancer I ever saw. And all of his actions gave the illusion of effortlessness. Then, on the Sunday Morning show, excerpts of his dancing from Russia confirmed his gravity defying leaps and spins. His interview revealed that he sprained his ankle at the beginning of the show and, instead of running to a trainer and strapping on bandages and taking some kind of pain killers, he continued with his breath-taking performance. No one could imagine the pain he must have been in.

Compare this with the so-called macho athletes who play football, tennis, basketball, baseball, soccer, and so on. We saw Ben Rothlisberger quarterback his Pittsburgh Steeler football team last night. He limped onto the field, wore different shoes on both of his feet, and anyone who watched knew that he was mustering up his courage to play his best, even though he had a sprained ankle. This is an athlete? I have said, for years, that ballet dancers are stronger, more fit, more able than traditional athletes. Can you imagine what would happen if you took a football team and put those large men into a class of junior high girls who were working out at the barre? I am sure that they would have "jelly" legs and very achy muscles and probably never want to try for that Marvelous toned look and flexibility again.

As I said, I started, or I should say restarted, ballet lessons when I was 49. I used to take ballet and tap when I was a kid but many years intervened before I realized that I like the look of ballerinas. They walk with poise and good posture. So I took lessons for about 6 years (with a slight interruption for brain surgery) and I eventually wound up on point. Who would ever have thought it. And I still use the practical lessons I learned to keep my balance - keep muscles tight and stare at a nonmoving object.

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