Tag Archives: libretto

Steve’s letter to Santa

22 Dec

In the spirit of the holiday season, I thought I’d do my own little dance-related wishlist.  Looking back over my posts, there were a lot of things I asked for…various DVD’s, requests to choreographers to use certain songs, that sort of thing…but due to the fact that I’m one of those “in the moment” type of people who doesn’t care to remember the past and is incapable of visualizing long term plans for the future, I would like to take this time to do a Christmas list that addresses my immediate needs.

Dear Santa,

If you fulfill my requests on my list somewhat soon, I shall leave for you Der Dutchman chocolate chip cookie dough.  While I have concerns regarding your obesity, it is scientific fact that Der Dutchman makes the best chocolate chip cookies on Earth, therefore I am resorting to this most luxurious bribery out of desperation.  Forget your health…I have demands.  Needs.  Things that have to happen or my world falls apart (and not like that movie 2012, which I think is a ridiculous exploitation of apocalyptic hysteria).

First, I would like to request some kind of recorded performance of Frederick Ashton’s ‘Symphonic Variations’.  There was one, and now there is not.  I used to watch it every other week or so, for the glory of Cesar Franck and the purity of Ashton’s choreography.  I loved the whole production, and especially the costumes.  Because my routine of regular ‘Symphonic Variations’ viewings has been maliciously cut off, the undue stress has caused a couple of minor breakouts of dyshidrotic eczema on my right hand.  The last time I had such blisters was when I was in elementary school (a stressful time for all), and being without ‘Symphonic Variations’ is like trying to go backwards from enlightenment.  My body is unhappy, and its resistance is manifesting into this chronic, incurable disease, that doctors know little about and can only treat the symptoms.  Therefore it is of utmost importance that the ability to see this ballet is restored to me in some way.  I would even be happy if nothing else on my wishlist is granted, so long as this first request comes to fruition.  Things just won’t be the same until we are reunited.

But…I said I had “demands” and “needs.”  I am therefore bound to writing multiple requests to reflect the aforementioned use of plurals.  My second item is a video of Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev performing the ‘Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux’.  I know she has performed it before (at the International Ballet Competition in Luxemburg) so it is surely in her repertoire.  Unlike many other Russian ballerinas who seem to struggle with Balanchine-speed allegros, Natashenka moves like lightning and really, I mostly want to see her leap fifty feet into the air and land in a fish dive when her partner catches her.  Strong he must be…but capable she is.  And I’m loving on the growing partnership between her and Ivan Vasiliev.  He’s grown on me a lot recently and I like his rawness, but sometimes it’s the “flaws” draw me to a dancer because it almost highlights what they do well.  He’s proof that great dancing isn’t about who has the biggest splits and all that nonsense.  I laughed when I read he thinks his height is a flaw compared to the limby, gazelle-men we often see in ballet and he measures himself everyday, a short man complex if you will, at an “unfortunate” 175 cm (5’9”).  I’m thinking “child, you don’t even know short” (and he is a child…just a baby bunny at a spring green twenty years old!).  He’s still taller then I and I have the gangly limbs…like a deer in an awkward adolescent phase, doomed to never grow out of it.  Except he can do 21 pirouettes (his record…I can’t even visualize how that happens) while I…cannot.  At any rate, I love their energy, and would love to see them do the ‘Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux’ which I’ve decided (at least for now) is my favorite of all the grand pas.

Also, this is kind of a strange one…but Santa; I need some help writing a libretto.  Well, maybe not actual help writing it, but I have a top sekret one in mind that I’m doing some research for, and it would be awesome if it were successful someday.  I think it’s bizarre that one would write a libretto in their spare time and I really don’t even know how exactly it’s done, but I’m doing some reading and hopefully I’ll come up with something of interest.  How it gets into the hands of the right people is another matter altogether, but it’s something I’d like to do.  I’m not the kind of person who can necessarily envision specific choreography, but I do have an abundance of ideas swirling in my head for ballets I would like to see…so why not write a libretto?  I could always use more strange hobbies.

And now for some miscellaneous smaller, important wishlist items:

I would also like to request that people start filming a prima ballerina besides Svetlana Zakharova.  Egads, she gets everything!  Some of her performances I’ve seen online have left me indifferent to her dancing, and I get the feeling that without the hyper extensively extended hyper extension she’s a dancer with less substance than others.  I’ve been wanting to watch ‘The Pharaoh’s Daughter’ for a while, but the only DVD available is of her, and I’d really prefer someone else (but it’s a ballet that has little chance of being released again.  I think only the Bolshoi stages it anyway).  It would just be nice to see a little more variety instead of shopping online for the “not Svetlana Zakharova version.”

I also have my eye on the black New York City Ballet tote bag.  I carry a lot of crap sometimes and I’m all for more opportunities to shout from the rooftops how much I love ballet.  While not the most extroverted of people, you can bet I’ll talk a stranger’s ear off about ballet given the opportunity.  Other companies make these pink monstrosities…leave it to New York to do something simple and sleek in black.

And finally, I would really like to just take class, all the time, all day.  Perform?  No.  Just take class and soak in the learning like a sponge.  After being inundated with the philosophy that academic learning is always the first priority, I’d be happy if the only learning I ever do from now on was in the physical realm.

That is all; give me a sign when you’re ready to make things happen.  I promise I’ve been morally sound this year.