[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.