In the late 1800s and early 1900s, my great-grandmother danced in the corps du ballet at the opera house in Paris with the professional company. She traveled to the states as part of a tour, fell in love with my great-grandfather, and she married, quitting her role as a dancer. Nevertheless, her passion for dance flowed from her veins through two generations and boiled to the brim in myself, as I studied and stretched and blistered my feet for years, striving to fill her shoes. I never did dance professionally; however, the passion for the art form flows freely through my being.
On this night, I watched the ballet, La Fille Mal Gardee
, in the Parisian opera house. My husband and I were awed by the gilded figurines lining the exterior of the architectural gem. We entered the massive doors to meet the salutations of tan, grey, and red marble floors, columns, and walls.
There were glistening chandeliers and ceiling to floor mirrors all over the place, and the ballet goers were dressed in handsome attire, dressed to impress, to see and be seen among the many balconies and stair lines dancing through the grand lobby.
We sat in a box unit, which seated 6 people, and the chairs were of red velvet. Above our heads was Chagall's gorgeous painting in reds, yellows, and blues, depicting scenes from opera and ballet. As the overture began, my heart leaped to the lively tempo, and when the curtain opened, revealing the graceful Lise, my heart then melted. The dancers were romantic and energetic, with pristine technique and elastic lines. Pride overwhelmed me as I dreamt over the notion that my great grandmother delicately tread her feet upon the raked stage before me.
The ballet was a comedy, and the ending beautiful...the curtain call lasting at least 30 minutes. Though we were ready to exit by the end of that call, my heart was quickened at the thought of such grandiose appreciation for artistry and classicism.