Every morning I drive to school and park in roughly the same spot—in a strip of spaces directly facing BYU’s dance studios. Without fail, as I pull into my parking space I glance over and see a troupe of ballerinas going through a… workout? Practice? Routine? What do you call what ballerinas do? Whatever it’s called, they seem to mostly stretch and cling to the bar like children just learning how to swim. A dozen or so ballerinas—unvaryingly clad in black leotards and flat-toed silk slippers—posing in first, second, third position, preparing for some future pas-de-deux.
(As a side note, I think that I am culturally middle-class. I very much appreciate theatre and music and dance, right up until it gets into the really “high-class” art. I love musicals, but can’t stomach opera. I enjoy music –who doesn’t?—but the bulk of my knowledge of classical composition comes from Looney Tunes or Fantasia. And I enjoy dance performances, but ballet is mostly lost on me. Maybe what I don’t understand about these high-class art forms is that to my untrained senses they have remained largely unchanged for centuries, while the less sophisticated forms have evolved over the last four hundred years.)
So each day, before heading up to class, I watch about twenty seconds of ballet. It has become one of those odd routines which has lost its strangeness through sheer repetition. Do you have any strange routines?