Ballet is poetry in motion


April is National Poetry Month. I can’t think of a better way to kick it off on Saipan than to attend the ballet concert to be staged by Glushko’s Academy of Performing Arts at the Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe this April 1 and 2. There will be three Russian dancers from St. Petersburg, a performer from Japan, and 15 students from Glushko’s Academy.
Ballet is true poetry in motion. Trained dancers’ bodies blossom with grace and beauty, blending their moves with some of the world’s great classical music and stories. Here are two poems inspired by my volunteering as emcee, performing bit parts, and observing Anna Glushko’s Academy of Stars and student performances over the past 15 years.

THE CAMEL DANCES – for Anna Glushko
(written on Saipan in the spring of 2014)
one hump or two the camel dances swallowing her spit
sashay sashay on dunes in the desert she bobs and prances
portraying pachyderms in a dromedary ballet
she forms five positions on four legs and more
in a tutu tata one and two plié releve under the sun
pirouetting till all her pads were sore she took a bow
some folks complained,“ you are not and never will be
a ballet dancer ” she said, that ignorant remark I’ll just ignore
how wrong they are she explained and continued plodding
measure for measure for ballet gives me satisfaction and pleasure
and now as the sands of time shift through deep desert dunes
the camel dances with Heliogabalus to algebraic Arabic tunes
sonnet moral “satisfaction will come to those who please themselves”
put those negative remarks and insults on your minds back shelves

What follows is a three-part ode written with a one-line haiku on the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky and ballet to accompany it. The production of the Nutcracker described here was performed by Glushko’s Academy with four Russian ballet dancers from Perm Russia on Saipan in December 2004. I played the uncle who gives his niece the nutcracker. This poem, with a few revisions, was in the Saipan Tribune on Dec. 24, 2004. One meaning for nutation is oscillatory movement of the axis of a rotating body and Casse Noisette mentioned is the original name for the Nutcracker Suite.
A three-part ode to a fairy tale ballet classic

one two three ballerinas being born elementary steps
rushing home picking up the kids ballet today
practice try it again hearing French dance terms
new steps learned as muscles begin to build friends smile
students spin movement in the studio spritely and supple
tiny tots twirl play and pirouette proud parents

backstage tension mounts where is the nutcracker
in the audience noise increases ballerinas ready
opening night grace and beauty convene in classic ballet
flowers dance mice merrily march in music delights
on stage and off movement with meaning memories are made
curtain call as flowers dance again Applause Bravo Cheers

Tatiana Bolshuhina, prima ballerina floats arms and legs flutter
Ludmila Telius on her husband’s shoulders aerial flight
Daniel Kurinov leaping lightly leads a family connection
Nikolai Kalabin continues Casse Noisette culture connection
 children and teens dance wait patiently behind the scenes
a wonder for all in the hall ballet brings out the very best in all


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