115. Nijinsky: Ballet Abstraction


My mom is visiting. She just shooed me out of the door this morning with the instruction to go and have some ‘me’ time. She, wants to spend quality time with her grandson Marc. A whole day to myself. I thought I’d be elated.  I was so craving this a couple of month, now that it has happened I don’t have a clue of what to do with myself. I feel strangely lost. For the last couple of months taking care of Marc has taken ALL my waking hours and the half asleep ones too. It is amazing how in such a short amount of time Marc has become the center of my world. For today at least I don’t have this responsability.

I drive aimlessly and can’t decide what to do. I can go to the Mall but I don’t feel like shopping. I haven’t lost those extra pounds yet. I could call my friends and have lunch but somehow I am not up for idle chitchat. I stop at the gas station. While waiting for the tank to fill up, I open my planner. I haven’t really used it for the last two months. I check today’s date and noticed that I have penciled in a symposium on Nijinsky’s “The Rite of Spring”. I so wanted to see it! but that was in another pre-Marc life. I had completely forgotten about it. This is my chance. That’s where I’ll go.

The symposium is held in the concert hall. It is a half hour drive. All of a sudden I can’t wait to get there. Over five hundred people are gathered in the hall. They are all dancers or dance teachers. I look around for a place to sit. A ballet teacher hurries her flock of young dancers to their seats and bids them to be quiet.  The panel takes its place on the podium. They are ready to begin.

After a general introduction, two professional dancers from the Joffrey Ballet join them on stage and demonstrate some of the dance steps.

For the next couple of hours I get immersed in the familiar world of ballet. The lectures, pictures and dances carry me to the dawn of twentieth century, to the world of Diaghilev and the ‘Ballet Russe’, to its most famous and infamous dancer Nijinski, to the innovative music of  Igor Stravinsky and to the extravagant costumes.The sounds and the music surround me like a comfortable cloak.

Two hours pass in a blink of an eye and the symposium is over. The young dancers rush towards the Joffrey Ballet stars to take pictures and listen to them in awe.

I get up quietly and walk slowly toward my car. Now, all I want is to rush home. I reach for my phone.

“Hello mom it’s me I am on my way. How is Marc?”

“Oh! Hi Sofie. We are fine. We are having a wonderful time.”

“I’ll be there in half an hour.”

The real world beckons. I can’t wait to get home and hug Marc.

My afternoon with Nijinsky is over.




2 thoughts on “115. Nijinsky: Ballet Abstraction

  1. This reminds me of a similar experience from my teenage years. I was dancing all the time. And I mean ALL. THE. TIME. It was my obsession. Around this time, I was fortunate enough to see Jacques d’Amboise do a talk on ballet. If I remember correctly, his son Christopher was there with him. That part is fuzzy. I didn’t care about him. All that mattered was that I was sitting on the front row, directly in front of Mr. d’Amboise. It was amazing.


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