“The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.” -William Shakespeare
Between bruised knees and sore ankles, the pink satin dream of a young girl in pigtails tends to slip away, masked by the shadows of a calloused reality. But sitting in the small pool of sunshine by the window in studio 2 yesterday, draped in the tulle fairytale my younger self once subconsciously designed, I couldn’t help but bask in the dreaminess of it all. Of course I promptly tweaked my hip upon standing, and felt compelled to reflect on the relationship between light and shadows; Polar opposites upon first inspection, in reality one could not exist without the other.
Interdependent and eternally connected, light and darkness tempt and rescind each other, distort and define each other. The very existence of one both creates and negates the other, making it impossible for them to separate or marry, and the incoherent dance endures, a perpetual representation of the incidental union of two contradicting entities. Ballet often manifests itself in this paradoxical friction, simultaneously embodying beauty and disfigurement, intense pain and a lack of fear. On stage we exhaust ourselves to present the audience with artificial ease; We submit to hours of physical malady in the production of an unmatched elegance. But if we listen to Shakespeare, we come to understand that most dreams take the form of a shadow while being pursued by those who truly aspire. That is, it is in this work and toil that dreams eventually come to fruition. One relies on the other, no matter how antithetical they may seem.
In these moments, where the dream and reality intersect, I wonder if a bit of borrowed spirit from a younger, poufy-tutu-clad me isn’t the missing link between my light and my shadows.
PS- Do you like my special new leotard? Stay tuned for a very exciting announcement, coming soon!
photos by Jenay Evans