Seagull MAG

By Unknown, Unknown, Unknown

   The opening scene of Chekov's The Seagull, performed by the Bolshoi ballet, uniquely fascinated me. As the curtain rolled back, I saw a woman, dressed in black from the chest down and in white from the chest up, suspended about fifteen feet above the stage. My reasoning mind immediately looked for platforms or strings or lighting apparatus, until I realized that to do so was to reject the ballet's gift of removing me from the world for a while. I lay back in my seat and watched this scene.

A white bird with a woman's head is lit in a sea of blackness, hovering as if its delicate frame were being wafted on warm air currents high in the night sky. She lifts one soft wing slowly, liquidly, and banks to float sideward until the upward curl of the other wing tip restores her mystic balance. Her wings glide in rhythmic unison, each slight assimilarity reflected in a climb, a dive, or a turn. And then, the feathered whiteness that has drawn all who look on her into a dream, unswaying from her celestial course, fades into the black, as the stringed instruments that have accompanied her, unnoticed until they are no longer there, merge with silence.

Of course, I could make out the men behind the black curtain holding the legs of the ballerina, and as one might expect, the spotlights were not perfectly synchronized, sometimes catching the black leotard on her lower body; but for a while that did not matter. I knew only that this pure white seagull hailed from somewhere far above my wordly troubles. This ballet carried me away, as soon as I allowed it, on a vacation from reality. n

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i love this so much!


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