Winter is the time of year when the days are shorter, we stay inside, and slow down, waiting for the fresh sights, smells and sounds of spring. It can also be a good time to look inward and to start new habits and directions to increase good health in our daily lives. And, every 4 years, we enjoy watching spectacular athletes competing at the Winter Olympic Games always looking for the strong ties between ballet and many of the winter sports.
The best of the best athletes the world over come together to compete in the Winter Olympics. Those divers, skiers, swimmers, gymnasts and more are inspirational human beings and many of their moves and training include the same forms and poses that ballet dancers create in training and performances.
While ballet doesn’t usually play into the Olympic mix as a competitive sport, the opening and closing ceremonies certainly do! Most recent cases in point(e) are Sochi, Russia 2014 Opening Ceremony and London, England 2012 Closing Ceremony. Russia’s 2014 ballet offering included a vast number of dancers and was the longer and more classical of the two pieces. They performed a glittering balletic portrayal of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace and the huge corps de ballet delivered intricate serpentine patterns before an audience of millions. Two years earlier, at the Olympic Summer Games in London, British ballerina Darcey Bussell took “Firebird” to a whole new level performing the “Phoenix of the Flame” ballet, a final hurrah before the extinguishing of the Olympic fire.
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