Thursday, December 1, 2011

More to It Than Just Dancing

Alicia Markova, Giselle (1947)

The title of prima ballerina assoluta is given out to only the most highly regarded of ballet dancers, those who have made lasting impressions and contributions towards the refinement and development of the art form, those who have performed with unforgettable grace and indelible expressiveness. It is from among these legendary dancers that we focus upon Alicia Markova in celebration of her birth date.

As is common with early 20th century ballerinas, there isn't much footage available to view, leaving us to piece together her artistry from photographs, contemporary accounts, a few snips of film, and the performance techniques of her students. In aggregating these sources together into a coherent testimony, it is clear that Markova was every bit as amazing as her devotees claim.

So, let's take a moment today to consider the Art of the Dance. Although it's also true for most types of artistic endeavors, be it writing or painting or theater, the effort that goes into a dance career does not generally translate into notable financial gains. The rigorous training sessions, the constant searching for dance engagements, and the short career span, these all combine to make a dancer's art one of the hardest to pursue.

Alicia Markova was born on December 1, 1910.

Although some flowers do bloom in the desert, many more thrive where water is prevalent. A similar situation exists in the world of performing arts, as regards finance. So, consider visiting a dance performance sometime soon; even just a holiday viewing of the Nutcracker would be cool. The next generation's Markova may be on the verge of calling it quits, going for steady employment behind a desk rather than starving upon the stage.

And that is a sad situation.

Here are a few vids showcasing Alicia Markova's artistry and vision:

Giselle (1951)

An Interview with Dame Alicia Markova


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