Sunday, December 2, 2007

Cracked Nuts

I realize that for most of my readers, this will never be an issue. And for others, it has long since stopped being an issue. But just in case, if you ever have a young daughter and she comes to tell you that she wants to take ballet lessons, you might want to consider getting her some tattoos and a Harley instead. Less trouble in the long run.

YFU, who will soon be twelve, has been taking ballet for five or six years now, and this year she landed the role of Clara in the local municipal ballet company's production of The Nutcracker. This, trust me, is a big deal. I'm sure that she's learning valuable lessons about discipline and what not from her ballet training, but as her father, it's hard for me not to focus on the fact that an eleven -year-old child has been rehearsing until 11 pm every night for the last week. Her first turn as Clara came in last night's performance, and when she had to go back this afternoon and dance a different role, she was exhausted. Still, she's happy, and she seemed to dance capably last night (It's a municipal company's version: the choreography is not exactly Black Swan.), so I guess it's all good.

The local company (and I would guess local ballet companies in general) suffer from one main problem that had always made me dread going to see the performances. They have no attractive male dancers. Every time I've gone to pick YFU up from a lesson, the classes are all girls. So it's no surprise to me that they don't have good male dancers. But if you've got a company with a lot of competent (You know, not professional level: they lack the amplitude and extension of professionals, but many of them have years of training and solid technique) women dancers and your male dancers are mainly going to stand around, then you should at least find some cute guys to do the standing around. That has been so very much not the case with the company here.

I have, of course, seen male dancers with amazing technique. But they all start out at an advantage because they have amazing asses bodies. Everyone loves to ogle male dancers because a) they're beautiful, b) they're very flexible, c) you assume that they're hot in the sack and fuck like bunnies, and d) they're all bottoms. (Note to Will: if I am wrong about the all bottoms thing, I really do not want to be disillusioned, ok?) You take away all that, and it's not much of a wonder that I fall asleep any time YFU's not on stage. "Falling asleep," sadly, is not hyperbole here.

Fortunately for all concerned, the local ballet mistress appears to have drafted one of her girl student's fathers. I don't know whether he ever had training before, but over the last couple of years, he's been getting bigger and bigger parts. Sadly, last night he was playing Drosselmeyer, which meant that a cape was covering his best assets, but in other performances, he's got the major male part in Act III. I'm not going to see any of the other performances, but I've had to sit through a lot of late rehearsals this past week, so I've had a lot of chances to see this guy in tights, and he has never disappointed. His ass, that is. I couldn't really tell you anything about his technique.

I don't really know anything about dance, but it's my sense that in the long run, YFU would get a lot more out of modern dance than in continuing on in ballet and learning to do pointe. Of course, that conviction might just reflect my belief that when she wants to start go seeing other dance events, I'd be more likely to see scantily clad men if we were going to see something other than ballet. Priorities, right?


John said...

Hey, municipal ballet or no, the role of Clara in "The Nutcracker" is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, it's a rite of passage for any young aspiring dancer. That's very cool. Congratulations, Daddy!

The Neighbors Will Hear said...

Thanks, John. I don't mean to sound like I'm not proud of YFU. I'm very proud, and I thought she did a great job. It's just that a) I'm biased and b) I'm proud of her all the time.

But I do recognize that it's a big deal, and now all the younger dancers look up to her.