Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pretty Ballerinas For My Ballerinas

Today is the 100th anniversary of Russian Ballerina Anna Pavlova's debut in America at NYC's Met. I am thinking of her today and my grandmother who saw her perform. I was obsessed with Pavlova when I was a young ballerina and would make my grandma tell me the story over and over again of seeing this legendary artist dance.  Grandma was the one who walked me several times a week to the dance studio until I was old enough to go alone.

My favorite story about Pavlova is when performing the dying swan (a role she created) in Swan Lake, she used to powder her costume beforehand so when she oh so elegantly collapsed at the end it would look like her soul was rising up to heaven.  She was a drama queen that one.  No doubt. But more importantly, a pioneering artist who was the first to bring ballet to the world and into the hearts of so many people. Thank you Pavlova.

Coincidentally, today my twin nieces performed in their biannual ballet recital. Being a veteran of countless dance recitals starting at a very early age continuing through college, I was excited for them and wanted to bake something pretty and well, ballet-ee.

I remember when I was about 11 I was doing a tap duet with another girl to Swanee River.  I had on a psuedo tuxedo on with tails.  Right before I went onstage the fake carnation boutonniere on my lapel fell off the costume.  I hurriedly folded up a piece of masking tape and stuck it back on before making my entrance.  About halfway through the number the audience started laughing and clapping.  OMG.  We so rocked!  I thought we were slaying them with our talent.

It wasn't until I exited stage left that I saw stuck to the toe of my left tap shoe was the carnation. Unbeknownst to me it had flown off my tux jacket mid dance and landed there where it happy rode out all my flap ball changes.  I had blithely continued my performance with a flower on my shoe putting my full heart into it, especially since we were getting such a great audience reaction. When I realized  those people were reacting to my costume mishap, not my tap dance skills. I was crushed.  Luckily "the show must go on" and  I didn't have too much time to wallow in my humiliation. It was time for a quick costume change for the finale ("Finale:Think About the Sun" from Pippin).  I learned an invaluable show business lesson in humility at an early age...

Back to now and his year's recital theme - 1001 Nights. Marie Christine was a Thief and Louisa had the role of a Precious Gem.  Here is Louisa relaxing backstage.

Their performances came off without a hitch, costumes intact.

As for the cookies I used ordinary sugar cookie dough, a ballerina cutter, some colored royal icing and lots of pretty decorations (yep- those are my toe shoes).

My nieces took several of them along to share with their friends.

So small a task to make little girls so happy...  Pavlova and grandma wherever you are, rest assured the dance goes on...

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