Friday, 29 April 2016
What Karsavina Said
So, here we are off to perform in London for the last time as my character Madame Galina. The decision to stop was sudden. I'm no longer able to conjure the Prima Ballerina Assoluta behind the act, her character motivations or her sense of heritage. Wien I used to imagine her dancing she was a lot like Alla Sizova. Now I see me. I would have a jumble of thoughts during a performance. Rising from the grave Giselle is cold and is waxy in appearance. Nikya in the Shades act is a wisp like cigarette smoke seen in the beam from a cinema projector. The Swan Queen is virtually motionless when the feathers turn into skin because all her energy is being taken up with the transformation - as the temperature of ice changing to water is constant because all the energy from the heat source is going into the melting process. Fonteyn would only move her head so far then make a sudden eyes-right so the audience got a flash of the whites. Maximova insisted that even a step as technical as fouettes must be made personal to each role: the character's inner life should bring a different quality to them; you shouldn't look different just because you have either a rose behind your year or black feathers on your head. Karsavina said that the Firebird's lulling to sleep gesture is like the smoothing of your best linen table cloth. Now I have one thought: get on, get through the act, get off.
What Karsavina said leads me to what I'm needing to happen now: starting with having real linen full stop, classier gin than own-label, non-Pound Emporium fairy lights: I want to deal with the fact that I've had a lifestyle bypass. I'm fifty one. There has to be more.