Tag Archives: Ballet

Great Ballet!

This post builds on the theme of the previous posts.  It presents the fourth fine art – Ballet.

The piece below is a masterpiece of music and choreography depicting the innocence of childhood and the security of the child who is protected by a loved one.  In this ballet scene, the character is protected by its mother, Nature; however, there is more to the scene.  The character, now secure in its basic needs of food, warmth, and safety, is becoming restless and is interested in reaching out to others, the nymphs.

The description below is an excerpt from my book.  I think that this one artistic piece captures perfectly and with great beauty the feelings that we all share when our needs for food, clothing, shelter are satisfied and we begin to look for the next chapter of our life – belongingness and the desire for being with others.

The Afternoon of a Faun (Choreography by Nijinsky (1912), Music by Debussy (1894))

The music of this ballet is considered by most experts to be a turning point in the history of music.  It is one of the first modern ballets and the music is one of the composer’s most well known works.  The music and the dance evoke the afternoon in which a single faun, nurtured and protected by nature, awakens to the sight of nymphs.  He flirts and chases the nymphs but with no success.  He soon retreats back to his place of rest.  This short ballet represents a character whose protector, Nature, gratifies both his physiological and safety needs.  It also presents the beginning emergence of a new higher need involvement with others, which cannot be satisfied by the faun’s protector alone.

Why Art?

Degas painting - The Dance Class

Have you ever wondered why certain people visit art museums, read poetry, listen to classical music, and watch ballet?  And, in many cases it is the same people involved in all four of the fine arts.

These people enjoying the fine arts are not doing it because it is just fun to do – going to a baseball game is also fun to do, and so is playing video games and watching TV. In fact, to enjoy these fine arts requires visiting an art museum or a concert hall or a ballet performance; or, at least buying an art appreciation book or a poetry anthology.

Degas, one of the many artists contributing to the “arts” section of my book, knew a lot about life and was so gifted artistically that he could present his thoughts on canvas for all of us to see.  These thoughts of his could not be expressed any other way.  It is this representation of some aspect of life, with a good degree of inspiration, that is why people visit art museums.

Degas is but one of the book’s 78 artistic contributors helping us find our way in life.