A superb story, Simon. I love her sympathy for Macleary. That quality of caring for, paying attention to, one's colleagues: it's something I always felt about Seymour when I watched her (admittedly only a few times) on stage. Thank you.
I must confess that one of my biggest excitements EVER of Swan Lake was the Black Swan section...yes, I LOVED the exaggerated, femme fatale, Queen Grimhilde designed and inspired Odile....and then the pinnacle of her physical powers...the backward traveling penchee/sautés on pointe. Some ballerinas even did some fantastic port de bras signaling to Siegfried as if to attracting him, to which he would walk as if hiptonized...all this while Odile was all the way down...face and steely eyes on him. Ah, it was WONDERFUL!-(Madame Bosh and Madame Mendez were just spectacular on this). One day I saw my first Swan Lake out of Cuba...and poof...the magic was gone...forever. Dissapointing...VERY disappointing indeed, even now realizing that this was not a Petipa step.
Another great story. Thank you, cristian. What we observe at a performance is so often conditioned by what we've learned in the past to see (and not see)
. The same holds true about what we love (and do not love). I guess the trick is to hold on to those early experiences -- but not to be frozen in place by them. In ballet, I've certainly had to submit myself to a lot of re-education, even though I would probably have been quite happy spending my life looking at Balanchine ballets at the NYCB. (With Balanchine still alive, well, and presiding over it all, of course!!!