Thursday, May 21, 2009

Be Kind to Your Web-footed Friends, For A Duck May Be Somebody's Mother

Since commenters have been impugning my patriotism, I must share this picture of the SF Ballet School Student Showcase production of Stars and Stripes that I saw last night, a piece based on a set of John Philip Sousa marches choreographed by George Balanchine, with 24 ballerinas wearing endearingly ridiculous costumes, creating an effect that crossed a 4th of July parade with the Rockettes. The male dancers were dressed as Union army soldiers, which led me to expect another group to come out dressed in Confederate gray and re-enact the Civil War as a dance-off, but that didn't happen. The use of the Liberty Bell March (better known for the opening music of Monty Python's Flying Circus) also helped lighten the proceedings.

Classical ballet dancers constitute the most international and cosmopolitan subculture you can imagine; having them re-enacting the forms of traditional small-town American patriotism has got to involve a hint of friendly parody.

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