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Varna in Violet

I went to see Hillary today in downtown Pittsburgh. If you follow my Twitter stream, you can get caught up with what happened. I’ll have more on it tomorrow. Tonight, I’m a little tired from standing for about 4 hours. If you have a chance to see her, you won’t regret it. She’s inspiring.

Tonight, I leave you with something really lovely and the ideal American-Russian collaboration. Joy Womack recently competed in the international ballet competition in Varna, Bulgaria. Varna is a biggy in the Ballet world. To perform well in Varna can have a profound effect on your career. Joy took silver. That’s fantastic considering how many dancers were competing.

Joy dances at the Kremlin Ballet in the heart of Moscow. She speaks fluent Russian and is a Bolshoi trained dancer. Her dance partner, Mikail Martynyuk, who did not compete, and her ballet teacher Zhanna (very long Russian last name I have to look up) went to Varna with her. Zhanna must be very proud of her student. And Misha is Joy’s rock. A talented dancer on his own, Misha is a tightly coiled spring and a sympathetic partner.

Here is their first round dance, the pas de deux from Le Corsaire. Relax and enjoy on a cloud of violet vapor.

See Alys Dance

What a difference three years makes.  Here is 14 year old Canadian Alys Shee at an international ballet competition in Moscow doing a variation from Le Corsaire:

Lovely.  She floats.  Her pirouettes couldn’t be more perfect.  She received the silver at this competition and it’s easy to see why.  Her technique is beautiful.

Now, fast forward to 2012.  Here is Alys dancing the same variation:

She dances this variation.  She knows the dotted quarter notes in the music so well that she can pause on pointe and tease the audience.  It’s a little less “perfect” but more exciting.

Here’s more of Alys and her partner , Gabriel Davidsson, dancing Le Corsaire.  Her fouttes are to die for.

Alys is now dancing professionally for the Royal Birmingham Ballet in England.  I’m starting a personal savings fund for the day when she gets promoted to principal ballerina somewhere so I can see her dance.

OK, enough stalling.  I have a cubic yard of mulch to move.