The surf reporter emerges from the rock n’ roll hole to crack the pinnacle of ballet grace and beauty!
But how would Griffin Colapinto behave as a ballerina?
But of all the loveliest, the finest art there is in this beautiful land, where do you place professional competitive surfing? For my money, it sits just above college ice hockey, just below light welterweight boxing, a far cry from the ballet that just so happens to occupy the absolute pinnacle of perfection.
My love for short-lived, yet dictatorial dance has grown steadily over the past three years, a product of my young daughter being caught in her trap, I suppose. When she was a child, the wife of a wonderful friend from the surf industry stretched her baby leg and said “she’ll dance ballet”. I ignored it, imagining her achieving fame and fortune through synchronized swimming or being a jockey (she liked to swim in makeup and ride horses as fast as she could until the instructors yelled at her the safety of their animals).
Maybe even a pro snowboarder even though my pro snowboarder ex-wife said it would only happen on his (wife’s) dead body. An extremely high price to pay, all things considered.
Fate, luckily, is fate and she took one ballet class, then another, and then found herself incredibly trapped. Ballet chooses the dancer, they say, not the other way around, but it must also choose the dancer’s father and this past year has found me reading everything I can, watching everything I can , to learn everything I could.
Obsessed. A complete balletomaniac.
The Mariinsky, Sylvie Guillem, Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky, Rudolf Nureyev, arabesques, France, Russia, Italy, the Staatsballet, Mother Ginger etc. to infinity.
So I was in Copenhagen, in a deep rock n’ roll hole but salvation was near as I knew from my research that the Royal Danish Ballet would be performing outside in the evenings, right by the harbor on the perfectly designed porch of their opera house, and the grime of Gloryhammer would be immediately washed.
We arrived early, thanks to insider information from Copenhagen’s most famous woman, to watch the dancers warm up at the barre to soft piano pluks. Our spot on the cement, slightly to the left, perfect. The sky above our heads filled with clouds. We sat on this patch of cement slightly to the left, the girl on our knees, and felt the hammer of glory. Have you ever heard toe shoes slamming on the floor of a stage? It is exactly what it is.
The Rock Hammer of Glory.
The warm-ups lasted about an hour and a half, the dancers lined up in a black tent on the side and the director came in front, telling the audience, which had swelled to thousands, that a light rain, drizzling for a fortnight minutes, would slightly delay the start of the program. Take a toe shoe and bang it on the ground to accentuate it. Or at least that’s what I imagined he said to the audience when the whole exchange was in Danish.
I sat, young girl on my knees, for another ten minutes, then I decided to get up and stretch, to prepare my soul, except when I got up, I couldn’t feel my leg left and decided that walking with her would make me feel good. The next thing I heard was a quick pop, pop, pop emanating from my ankle and I was suddenly sitting in a heap on our patch of cement, completely embarrassed.
The Royal Danish Ballet took the stage soon after I collapsed and I saw them come out in their beauty and I saw my ankle go hideous purple, swelling like a balloon, like a diabetic’s hoof. Good what to do? Damn it. I made the regretful decision to hobble to the hospital, imagining that pop, pop, pop must be breaking my bones.
My young daughter stayed, thankfully, and really enjoyed the show, seeing rare pas de deux due to Danish crown largesse. I FaceTimed her from the waiting room and she gushed about Balanchine. Everything wonderful except me who is missing. The doctor told me I had broken a handful of ligaments, no bones, after a quick X-ray, and I was hobbling outside, happy to have been injured next to the ballet and wondering how Griffin Colapinto would do as a ballerina. .
Filipe Toledo, spins and all, is just too short, no matter what enthusiastic Brazilian fans say.