Yesterday afternoon at the MOVE IT! show in London’s Kensington Olympia, amid much eager anticipation from the sizeable crowd, Royal Ballet Principal Sarah Lamb took to the stage and danced The Dying Swan solo. The stage floor had not been swept beforehand, and it did look as though the previous act had burnt some rubber and left it behind in places. However, the debris did not put Sarah off her fluid, melancholy dancing, and she gracefully picked her way around the stage to great applause.
The Dying Swan was originally choreographed by Mikhail Fokine for Anna Pavlova, to the cello solo, Le Cygne, from Le Carnaval des Animaux (Camille Saint- Saëns). The Dying Swan is (appropriately) what is known as a pièce d’occasion – a piece for a special occasion and a showcase for a great dancer, which depicts the final moments of a swan’s life.
It is a well chosen piece, danced as it is almost entirely en pointe in tiny pas de bourrée steps, which show off Sarah’s beautiful feet and hard-working Bloch pointe shoes.
Sarah is a Bloch Ambassador, and the company have this year, at last, been able to present her at the show, by kind permission Monica Mason, Director of The Royal Ballet.
Sarah brought her own white tutu, the same one as is depicted on the Bloch posters, with a feathered headdress that so spectacularly marks out a swan costume.
I think Bloch probably underestimated how popular Sarah would prove to be, especially as she agreed to a signing after her performance. Once it was announced, the queue immediately snaked around several stands. It is a mark of Sarah’s humbleness that she made her way through the crowds without any of the ‘heavies’ seen with other dancers, despite being a major draw at Covent Garden. She was lovely with everyone who had waited for her, dressed in jeans and “big shoes”- as someone pointed out to me – responding to photo requests and working her way through the Bloch posters.
The rules of the competition are as follows :
Please leave your answer in the comment box and make sure you can be contacted (anonymous comments don’t count for competitions !).
The closing date is Friday 19th March 8pm GMT.
All correct entries will be placed in a pointe shoe and the winner drawn at random. The winner will be notified as soon as the draw has been made. In the event that I cannot contact the winner, a second name will be drawn from the shoe and so on until a winner can be contacted.
Good luck everyone !