February 22, 2014 § Leave a comment
We went to the ballet last night, to the Opera to see Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin choreographed by John Cranko.
E-mail shortly after:
“Ballet this evening, beautiful, elegant, dated. Purer. Simple.”
“I watched and thought: this is false. Life is much more ugly.”
I watched and, admiring the elegance of the dancers in their precision and their costumes, wondered if I might move with greater grace, in future. Wondered why we did not wear such dresses, such colours. Wondered at the simplicity of it all — dated. False. Not life-like. I felt: a little cheated. That it was indeed beautiful, but an escapist lie. Decoration.
The thirds, divided, passed quickly. Each interval a shock, time vanished with the scene. I watched and, as a friend of mine when reading Beckett: let it wash over me.
I have not read Pushkin, not yet, and I did not understand at first. I did not understand indeed until this morning, waking from a dream, the story fallen into place.
“I wake today, from a nightmare, having understood now the story of the ballet. And I see it is true, and continues to be true. Pushkin: Onegin. Indeed, that it taps in to my very fear, or I do, my own — leaving the opera house, going home to bed and dream. Wake feeling betrayed, non-specific.”
“The lover [the romantic lover] is jealous, though that may be called now immature and old-fashioned. Specific.”