Self-Esteem 3: Artworks

To go along with the previous post, here are a few musical and dance works representing the satisfaction of the self-esteem need.  These are further support that, with the previous post’s other works of art, help to validate the journey to achieve self-esteem, which both Maslow and Csikszentmihalyi state are necessary to reach happiness.

Turandot, Nessum Dorma Aria (Puccini, 1924-1926)

This is the last and perhaps greatest of all the operas of a composer regarded as one of the great figures of Italian opera.  This famous aria for tenor is sung as a hope and then final victory of the character Calaf in winning the hand of Princess Turandot.  It takes place in a garden at night.  Calaf has won a contest to marry the princess, but she does not want to marry him.  He agrees that if she can learn his name by morning then she can have him killed; otherwise, she must marry him.  He is confident that his name will not be revealed and that once morning arrives the princess will consent to be his wife.  This is one of the most moving and powerful arias ever written for tenor.  It is another example of successful satisfaction of the self-esteem need, with defeat at the hands of death averted and the love of a woman won.

Swan Lake, Act 2 Pas de Deux (Choreography by Petipa and Ivanov, Music by Tchaikovsky, 1895 version)

This is the first of his three famous ballets.  Prince Siegfried has fallen in love with Princess Odette, who, along with her companions, is under a magical spell in which she is transformed into a swan during the day and is allowed to take human form only at night.  Siegfried promises to help vanquish the evil spell, but Odette does not trust him.  Siegfried goes about trying to win her trust and at the end of the scene Odette has fallen in love with him.  Risk and exposure fill the scene; the pair dance a difficult pas de deux in clear sight of the other ballerina swans, and the exposed solo violin heard above the orchestra adds to the apprehension and anxiety of Prince Siegfried’s challenge to win the heart of Princess Odette.  In this scene we witness the self-esteem need being satisfied by a confident Prince Siegfried meeting the challenging demands of the moment and winning the heart of Princess Odette.

Next post: how does harnessing the entrepreneur within us help to complete this very critical human need.

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