Wednesday, April 11, 2007


[small intermission - poetry requests continue soon]

Just got back from a performance of Cinderella by the Moscow Festival Ballet.

The characters I always feel the most sympathy for in Cinderella are the mice who get turned into footmen. Think about it. One minute you're happily nibbling away behind the wainscotting, dreaming about cheese; the next you're wearing patent leather shoes (with buckles! forsooth!), the most dreadfully uncomfortable livery and a ridiculous wig that makes you look like a magistrate in drag. For a while you're depressed about this. Then you figure, why not give this whole being human thing a shot. It turns out to be not half bad. You get to kick cats, and farmer's wives look a lot less threatening. You discover canapes. You stand at the window peeping in at the ball, and because this is the first time you've heard it you think The Blue Danube waltz is really rather pretty. Then, just when you're starting to get the hang of walking around on two legs that silly point-y circular thing up there goes ding-dong twelve times and it's back to being a mouse for you. No fairy godmother to come and rescue you. No prince with a foot fetish to come and carry you away in triumph. As for that little slip of a girl you did so much for - you think she's going to care what happens to you afterwards? Forget it. Ungrateful little bitch. So there you are, left with the nagging memory of everything you're missing out on by being a mouse, and the regret of knowing that you could have spent you time as a human buying cheese and hiding it away under the floorboards for later. Talk about life being unfair.

Oh, another thing, I'm so sick of the prince always being the best dancer. What I'd like to see is a ballet where Prince Charming, kind, handsome and rich as he is, can't dance to save his life. It would be such a moving story. Guy meets girl. Girl is all delicate ballerina type. Guy is clumsy clod whose big heart is matched only by his two enormous left feet. Girl lets herself be dazzled by Other Man who is dynamite in tights and leaps about stage with the grace of a young stag. Prince Charming is heartbroken and tries to learn how to dance but only ends up injuring himself. Eventually Girl realises that there's more to a relationship than jumping four feet in the air and managing to turn about three times before your feet hit the ground. She gives up her dancing, kicks Other Man off stage (he leaps effortlessly into the third row, landing perfectly on his toes, a fixed smile on his face) and settles down to a life of pirouette-less married bliss with Prince Charming. The End.


Shirsha said...

For the clumsy clod prince kinda thing, you'd need to make-ballet a regular wodehouse, no?

Gorilla Bananas said...

Charming was a clot. What kind of ass tries to identify a woman by her shoe size? He was damned lucky not to get lumbered with one of the ugly sisters. After dancing cheek-to-cheek, a gorilla would have remembered Cinders' smell.

Falstaff said...

shirsha: You mean in addition to not being able to dance the Prince would have to drink OJ and keep newts?

gorilla bananas: Oh, I don't know. I've always felt they deserved each other. I mean sure he was an idiot, but she a pathetic snivelling doormat as well. All this "Oooh! I'm just a poor little hapless thing who can't stand up for herself! Oooh! I need my Fairy Godmother to come in and help me!" Yuck! Who would want to date someone like that?

Nishant Neeraj said...

Probably, these stories are for Kids :) to lure them to work hard to learn skills by showing person who is good in everything gets the girl (and girl who is sober gets the man).

And to keep them fascinated they include rat-turned-man-turned-rat funda.

I think storybooks should come with a warning like

"This book is designed for KIDS only and may include pictures and materials that some shoppers may find offensive. If you are above the age of 10, if such material offends you or if it's illegal to view such material in your community please do not read."


Mary said...

It would be so much more fun if Cinderalla was dragged to the Ball by the evil step-mother who wanted her there so that the evil high-heeled, courtesying stepsisters could look even daintier in comparison. And she sneaked off to the stables because she preferred horses to all the pompous people. Prince Charming was there among the horses - he was sick of being coerced into standing at silly parties and meeting silly girls.
Since both parties agreed that dancing was the worst form of torture in the world, they got off to a good start. A fishing trip and some muddy finery later, they decided they didn't mind each other so much. And when they got married, a silly story was made up for the palace chronicles because the Prince's mother couldn't bear the idea that the world should know that he met his wife in a stable.

Aishwarya said... can't dance, can you?