Ballet Therapy

Though an art historian by training, dance has always been my first love. I began studying ballet at age 4 and practiced my pirouettes, jetés, and pas de bourées until the end of high school. For reasons that I can't exactly remember (I think at the urging of my orthopedic surgeon), I stopped dancing abruptly in college. I have missed ballet every day since.

Last night, my passion for ballet was reawakened. Thoughtful hubby treated me to an evening with the Bolshoi Ballet's production of Don Quixote. Admittedly, I knew little of this ballet. But, as the red curtain was drawn up, and the dancers entered the stage, I was reminded why I adore this art. The beauty of ballet is that you do not need to know the story, the dancers, or the music---it is wordless art that requires no prior knowledge, no formal education. It simply requires awareness and openness.

Ballet pulls me in like a vortex. I warned my husband that ballet triggers an almost trance-like state in me, and last night was no different. While the entire production was perfectly suited to each note of music, while each costume elegantly and artfully suited the movements, Act II was especially transformative. I was brought to tears by something sublimely beautiful (and I am NOT a tear-gusher kind of gal). The red and black Spanish dresses swirled across the stage like a bullfighter's cape, the dancers having as much control over their costumes as they did their bodies. Each pause, outstretched arm, pointed foot matched every precise note. For me, attempting to verbalize the scene almost takes away from the intrinsic beauty of it all.

What do you love? What inspires you visually to the point of tears? Remind yourself and treat yourself to this little pleasure. Take a moment to nurture your soul and surround yourself with beauty.

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