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Thursday, 12 February 2015

Reasons why Fran should stop watching ballet

Someone sent me a link on Facebook to this video of a Russian ballet dancer.

Something not to watch before you gorge yourself on sausage and mash.

I watched it just before my evening meal, and I really wish I'd had a sardine salad planned, or perhaps a thin vegetable soup with a couple of herb croutons. The ballet dancer leaps around as though his body is made of cotton wool, staying in the air like a bubble, for much longer than seems possible, and landing as though the floor wasn't concrete, but a thick, soft Turkish carpet.

And all I could think while I was watching was, in a minute, I'm going to tuck into a plate of pork accompanied by a hillock of buttered mash, and after that, I shall barely be able to rise from my chair, let alone fly halfway across a room like Peter Pan in nude tights.

I do love dancing, though. I have a CD called 'R & B Divas' and when no one is looking - and I've turned the mirror to face the wall - I will career around the living room like a mountain out of control, flailing my limbs to the music and using a banana as a microphone.

One of the songs on the CD is 'Toxic' by Britney Spears. I've just looked up the official video on Youtube. It appears the song is not, as I imagined, about bathroom cleaning agents.  I won't post the link to the video here, as I still want Google to let people click onto this blog without a warning, but let's just say, I thought the ballet dancer's tights were as nude as it was possible for them to be. Britney proves otherwise.

When I was a teenager, my poor beleaguered PE teacher, Miss Smith, tried to teach us 'Country Dancing' on Wednesday afternoons. I imagine she went home on those days and headed straight for her drinks cupboard for a gin and tonic in a pint glass. We were obsessed with the films 'Saturday Night Fever' and 'Grease' and she could shriek 'Remember to do-si-DO' as often as she liked, turning up the volume of the 'Gay Gordon' or the 'Irish Washerwoman' to drown out our giggles and yelps. But we were busy do-si-don't-ing, pretending we were Olivia Newton John and wishing a man in a white suit with cobalt blue eyes would come and rescue us from our fourth year schoolgirl tedium.

Do you like the film 'Billy Elliot'? I find the opening sequence transfixing, and the T-Rex song takes me straight back to my cheesecloth shirt and flared red trousers days when I experimented with bright blue eyeshadow and 'rocker' platform shoes, thinking myself elegant and sophisticated. I often use this clip at school to demonstrate the power of an opening sequence in a film.

Billy Elliot opening scene

If only Miss Smith had thought of playing T-Rex and letting us leap up and down on gym mats.



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19 comments:

  1. I must say, those tattoos are a bit disconcerting. (Not yours, of course. Yours are lovely).

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    1. I'm so glad I didn't get tattoos when I was young and thin. I imagine they stretch with the flesh over the years so the words disappear and you just look like you've undergone a big thumping from someone.

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  2. That was most unkind of you .
    I'd managed to forget Country Dancing .

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    1. If you'd had country dancing with Miss Smith, you'd never have been able to forget it. Burned in the memory, like early trauma.

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  3. The video is beautiful, but how did you get it? Willy Dunne Wooters and I made that when we were alone in my bedroom. I adore Billy Elliot. The conclusion always makes me cry.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. That's the internet for you. No such thing as privacy any more. Next time, check for hidden cameras.

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  4. I watched a few seconds of Toxic and had to turn it off because the b.c. stole my costume. Now I'm mad.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I think someone had stolen her costume too. She'd have been more covered up wrapped in cling film.

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  5. Watching Sergei is making me re-think the ox of chocolates I was planning to buy tomorrow. I like his practise studio too, what a fabulous space.
    It's been a long time since I saw Billy Elliott.

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    1. Billy Elliot is always worth seeing again. And Julie Walters is fabulous, as always.

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  6. Is country dancing the same as "square dancing," which is what we were forced to do in school PE classes when rain kept us indoors?

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    1. I think it's just the same thing, Stephen, and I'm sure, like me, you'd rather have been out in the rain.

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  7. I love the bit in Billy Eliot where he furiously tap-dances whilst flicking his V's at his older brother. That's the one dance move I'd love to be able to drop into at a moments notice. It would make going to work so much more fun.

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    1. Try it out in the office and let us know how it goes.

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  8. Billy Elliot is my all-time favourite film, and that opening sequence is great. I LOVE the last minute, though - Billy leaping onto the stage, and the expression on his father's face.

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    1. The film is one of the greats - I don't often watch films more than once, but that one I'll watch again quite happily.

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  9. Hi Fran! I haven't watched Billy Elliot but I do love Britney's videos. I must admit, I do indulge sometimes and pretend to have the physique of a dancer (which I probably did when I was 6). I even went so far as appearing on the school stage (4 years ago) with a group of teachers. I was the lead in Cheryl Cole's "Fight For This Love". I sang and danced my heart out and had so much fun. I only got away with it because I was the School Director and no one dared to laugh or make derogatory comments :):)

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    1. Ha ha! Me too, prancing around on a school stage to 'All the Single Ladies' by Beyonce. I've just had another look at the video and, to be fair, I don't know that anyone would have noticed that I wasn't Beyonce. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m1EFMoRFvY

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  10. There's an idea for a blog post. Which films do you watch over and over? Most people seem to have a list of them. I have only two. Billy Elliot and The Blind Side. (I was trying to reply to your reply, but silly glitchy Blogger wouldn't let me.)

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