Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mao's Last Dancer and My Own Attempted Trina Start

As much as we might poke fun at the Trinas of world, most of us mt ladies have wanted to be a Trina at one point in our lives. I was so lucky to grow up under an extraordinary ballet regime where something was really happening. I finally saw "Mao's Last Dancer" today. Based off Li Cunxin's biography of the same name, it reminded me of how amazingly lucky I have been. The movie making is ok, but the story it portrays is worth so much more. Li's story is as equally epic as "The King's Speech," and could have been an amazing film. Even without it being amazing, the story is still well worthwhile. It pulls at your heart strings even with some bad Texas dialects.
I watched Li dance as a little girl. He and Janie Parker were on (and still are) on the walls of the bedroom I grew up in. (As are Lauren Anderson and Carlos Acosta). As much as my little tapping tot feet remembered seeing "42nd Street" (and "Tommy" of all things), I have vivid memories of Lauren in her absurdly hot pink Aurora tutu. While the history books may put Li, Carlos, and Lauren up as breaking race boundaries in ballet, what the really were and still are is extraordinary performers. (Lauren is built like me, which makes her hefty in the world of ballet. Overcoming her build is way more extraordinary than overcoming the color of her skin. She is fierce!)All technique aside, they were all something beyond technique. The artistry that Ben Stevenson assembled for what was an unknown ballet company was amazing. So much adversity to overcome and so much passion for dance. Just like the city it was in, Houston Ballet was a diverse mix. Stevenson's choreo was never about technical wizardry, it was about passion and heart. He found the dancers that could kill it and didn't give a damn about their ethnicity, their homeland, or their build. It was about the art and the heart of the dance. The place where little girls made dreams about pink tutus. Myself included. This video isn't great, but he's killing it. If I had not been myopic from a young age, I could have looked at him and Lauren from across my room as I went to sleep. As it was, I looked at the fuzzy something that might have been them before going to bed!

1 comment:

  1. I <3 Houston Ballet too. I feel so lucky to have gotten to see Lauren Anderson perform the times I did. :-) She's amazing.