Here you will find excerpts from great blog posts and articles I have come across (reproduced with permission) and a link to the original post. This is a great way to share our experiences and knowledge across platforms.
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Swan, Late, the unexpected joys of adult beginner ballet by Irina Dumitrescu | Longreads | February 2017
This is a thorough article that explores the adult ballet experience very in depth. Irina begins by describing her less than ideal experience with ballet as a child, the wisdom she gained from a particularly worldly uncle about the beauty in imperfection, and goes on to describe some of the brutal truths of the professional ballerina's reality throughout the ages, as well as the realities, positive and negative of being an adult, non-professional ballet dancer.
"Family wisdom gave me other ideas. My great-uncle was a man of taste who surrounded himself with exquisite objects and gorgeous women, so we tended to take his aesthetic pronouncements seriously. One such nugget was that beauty requires a flaw. Perfection, he said, can never be truly beautiful. A slight asymmetry, a birthmark, a disproportion or scar — these are necessary to make the merely lovely transcendent"
Her writing presents the world of ballet in all it's "sex, drugs, and classical music " glory, In the end, she gives us her reasons for becoming a returning dancer in her 30's, and they will resonate true with so many of you!. One particular aspect that I really connect with, is her thoughts on how being an adult dancer, we are less damaged by the brutality of the professional dance world (in body and mind), and how we still can experience the transcendence from ordinary life that every ballet class brings.
"Ballet, like opera, is wonderful because it is monstrous, the hyper-development of skills nobody needs, a twisting of human bodies and souls into impossible positions, the purchase of light with blood"