Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Dancer....A Little Known Fact

As promised... here, in fulfillment of the second "requirement" of the Versatile Blogger Award, are a few things about me.   First, a short story that begins with me and ends with you; and then, seven quick "facts."  But before all of that, if you didn't catch my previous post, be sure to scroll down so that you can link to Mary Zeran 's blog and her other nominees' blogs, as well as to my nominees' blogs.

"Ballet Dancer"
Edgar Degas


In 1963, when I was nine, I performed with the Stars of the Bolshoi*-- a touring troupe of the world-famous Russian Bolshoi Ballet -- albeit for one night, only. I was not actually taking ballet at the time, having quit to take organ lessons instead. But my ballet teacher, a former ballerina with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo--a French troupe originally comprised of dancers who fled Russia after the 1917 revolution-- apparently felt I had a chance of being chosen to perform as part of the small, local cast. And so, she phoned my mother and encouraged her to pursue the opportunity.

This was rather a big deal for me, as I was excused from school for the better part of a day to audition with other dancers from around the state. Then,when selected, there were rehearsals with the Bolshoi ballet master in Portland, a fitting for my first pair of pink satin “point” shoes; photos of the audition in the major newspaper, and a separate photo shoot of me for our small town's local paper.

On the evening of the performance, I donned my simple costume and my mother did my makeup and fixed my hair in the classical tradition; all, in a dressing room right down the hall from the beautiful Russian dancers. How vividly I remember waiting in the wings in darkness a little later with them, and listening to them talking softly to one another in their own language. Finally, it was my turn to take the stage and perform. Our dance was quite short, and believe me, the choreography was very simple. Nevertheless, at the end of the production, which included the Bolshoi’s performance of Swan Lake, we received a rose, presented by one of the Russian dancers; and were granted the opportunity to ask for dancers' autographs, which they obligingly scrawled on beautiful,  multi-paged, full-color programs.

After I collected my belongings, my father made the half-hour drive home in the darkness. And when we arrived, I climbed into my bed and immediately began to cry in an exhausted, emotional meltdown, with my mother and father at my bedside attempting to comfort me.  Because the whole experience had just been so overwhelmingly wonderful for one little nine-year-old girl.   And that experience of the “wonderfulness,” if you will, of shared passion for an artistic pursuit in a a cross-cultural setting, is why I have chosen to recount this story in writing for the first time, at this particular point in my life and in this particular global forum.  Because you and I are presently participating-- in a very small, but big way-- in just such a wonderful cross-cultural, artistic experience.  :)


I have always loved to dance!

I also enjoy playing guitar and piano, primarily by ear with a bit of theory thrown in.
I rappelled once and went scuba diving once. I will do neither again.

I love Santa Fe, New Mexico -- the light, the air, and the surrounding landscape.

I’m nearly a "teetotaler" but I’m definitely a "breadaholic" and also a "chocolaholic."

I have far more artistic interests to pursue than I have time for.

I love discovering, encouraging, and “promoting” other artists.

*p.s. - I couldn't find a link to the exact program of the Portland performance.  The one shown was of the San Francisco performance in '63.

Have a great day!


Missouri Bend Paper Works said...

Gloria, thank you so much for sharing that story with the world! I echo your sentiments about the wonderful possibilities we are engaged in with a cross-cultural exchange! Best wishes to you and its wonderful getting to know you! Patti

Mary Zeran said...

What a beautiful story! Gloria, you have such a talent with words. I enjoyed every minute of it!

Gloria Freshley said...

Thanks for chiming in Patti! Have a great day in your studio!!

Gloria Freshley said...

Thank you Mary. Glad you enjoyed it. It's interesting to think about the fact that it would have never come forth if not for you! Ha!

Printed Material said...

Gloria, what a fabulous story.Thank you for mentioning my little blog. I appreciate it, because I think yours is so good, but I have a bit of an aversion to the awards thing. I don't know why - perhaps because I don't think I am very interesting! I hope that's OK and won't stop us keeping in touch out here in the ether somewhere? Lesley

Gloria Freshley said...

Hi Lesley, Thanks very much for stopping by and for acknowledging the award. No problem whatsoever if you choose not to pass it along. And of course we'll stay in touch!! :) Glad you liked the story...looking forward to your next post.

annamaria said...

What a lovely story Gloria! I share your love of dancing and this story would have totally enchanted me as a little girl- what magic! Thank you for sharing it!
Annamaria :)

Gloria Freshley said...

Hi Anna Maria, Thanks for your visit. So glad you're back in Blogland :) I'm totally amazed at your new work! Can't wait to see what you post next....

em said...

what a great story! my daughter used to dance, and when cast as a mouse at nine in the local nutcracker production, she said, "i have fulfilled my life's dream!" what a great thing when a little girl's dream comes true! and here's to the hope that our grown woman dreams come true too! great post!

Gloria Freshley said...

Em, thanks for sharing that story about your daughter! And yes, here's to the dreams of grown women!

Lauren Scheuer said...

Gloria ,what a wonderful read .Thank you for sharing.

Gloria Freshley Art and Design said...

Hi Lauren, And thank you for taking the time to read it! Hope all is well in your part of the world!