Emily Conyngham

Emily Conyngham
Homey Airport, Nevada,
December 31
I Enjoy It
I couldn't make this stuff up! © Emily Conyngham All Rights Reserved


JUNE 2, 2013 2:16PM

Ballet in the Park

Rate: 11 Flag

balletThe young ladies' thighs glowed so white in the lights, flickering open and shut like moth wings. The heat of the day subsided into the diaphanous swath of twilight. Splayed on the hillside, the audience had spread out their blankets, folding chairs, charcuterie, and plastic wine glasses to enjoy a free ballet performance in the park. The pleasantness of the moment cosseted us. We live in a nice city.

There's something about seeing all this pulchritude, energetic, and artful, arranging and re-arranging themselves in patterns on the stage that just makes you feel good about youth. These young women cared deeply about what they were doing, and had clearly devoted countless afternoons to dance practice.  My mind drifted.

It landed first on their thighs. It was great to see they had muscles. Honestly, compared to the uncomfortably thin things I see in suburban malls, and the teenage obesity prevalent on the other side of the tracks, it heartened me to see girls who enjoy and use their strength.   The pleasure and benefits of exercise can last a lifetime.

Then I started thinking that artistry, strength and self-expression are to be encouraged in young people. We endorse these endeavors because it is good for their personal development. The lessons learned in devotion to a single pursuit teach them how to be persistent in the inevitable challenges ahead.

Back to the thighs. I remarked that they were all white. I wished that the arts  had not been slashed out of public school budgets. Their families had paid for these happy, healthy young women to explore their creativity. Surely, it would be a good social investment to encourage creativity in ALL our children, so they can develop the flexibility to succeed in their adult lives.

My mind floated back to my blanket and the pleasantness. Having free performances marks a good city. It's smart policy to encourage us citizens to come outside on a summer evening to sit down next to each other.  When all those individual bonds are forged, the fabric of the city is strong. For instance, I met a lady who told me all about how to attach false eyelashes. I might not ever have known, had I not taken advantage of free ballet in the park. I live in Austin, a good little city, full of art and interesting people.

The young ladies exited the stage after exuberant bowing. As we packed our little encampment,  moths vibrated in the beams of light that were still trained on the empty stage. I thought of Wallace Stevens' poem Thirteen Ways to Look at a Blackbird,

"I do not know which to prefer,   

The beauty of inflections   
Or the beauty of innuendoes,   
The blackbird whistling   
Or just after."
Art reverberates. 

Summer evenings in the park are free, fun, and good for you. I hope you're enjoying yours too.

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It sounds like a good night.
Strong thighs and a wandering mind. Next time I'll have to watch Shakespeare. Who knows what that will bring up.
It was, Phyllis. Many cities have programs like this. They really bring out the best in everybody.
I saw these in the papers when I lived in the cities but I didn't attend- no one to go with and not all that brave alone. I miss having the opportunities. Small towns are very stifling.

I did like the wandering mind thoughts, too. It was like what two friends would talk about while they were watching.
Nice! I live down the street from The Washington Ballet. You wanna see some strong thighs... ~r
Eyelashes aflutter, butterfly.
Thanks for the the walk in the park ~
Evocatively written, Emily. (E.g.,"... open and shut like moth wings"). Makes me nostalgic for my Austin days. I'm picturing Zilker here.
um..well my mind flutters to nice pretty white thighs

hm:There's something about seeing all this pulchritude, energetically and artfully arranging and re-arranging themselves in patterns on the stage that just makes you feel good about ....


no not just that.
rearrangement and patterns on the Stage of Life
whatever yer age
cAN be beauty
beauty is truth.

and truth is the Dance.
I don't think I've ever heard of ballet in a park. It sounds kind of fun, although I have to admit I get bored with it after a while. I think I've fallen asleep at least once during the Nutcracker. Maybe twice. But free performances and healthy kids, that I like. Austin, too, the two times I was there.
If it takes socialism to spread strong thighs, I'm all for it.
Joan! Yup. Great to look at besides all the other stuff.
Catch 22, I respond to your comments like a proud kid. Thanks.
Daniel, yes! Zilker Park, exactly. Sublime summer nights. Aw, shucks, man, thanks for the "evocative" bit.
James, your honest responses make me smile big, and the poetic bits pretty much wrap it up, always.

JL- as you can see, I was not paying complete attention, so I get what you're saying. It was a short lively performance in the fresh air, so that helped keep me awake. Austin has something wonderful going on every single weekend. One could be become exhausted trying to see it all.

Trig - you got a huge giggle outta me on that one. :)
I passed. There's weekend Blues,
and Old Tome` American Banjo.
I watched two Butterflies make-
Love . . . On Leaf. I be yearning-
But, I ain't talkin' nor anticipating.
Art, what are you not talking about or anticipating? Glad you had music and butterflies though!
I ain't talking'
I keep thinking
I view butterflies
Have lovable day . . .
One beautiful word from you is worth a lot, CG. Thank you!

Art, you're bound to have a good day then. :)
So beautiful! What a post and what a night!