I'm going to see NYCB on Saturday, and Serenade is first on the program. I've decided recently that it's probably my favorite ballet, and here's why:
From the very first moment the beautiful "Serenade for Strings" by Tschaikovsky begins, I feel goosebumps. There's just something about those first few majestic phrases that is so moving and so pleasing. I'm thinking about it right now, and it's making me smile in delicious anticipation of that moment tomorrow night. Then the curtain rises, and it's bliss from then on.
That image of the girls in long tulle skirts, bathed in blue light and with their hands and gazes raised, is unbelievably striking in its simplicity, and always makes the audience gasp. To me, though, that first image speaks volumes, especially about the concept of the "Ballerina".
The women onstage, in that simple standing pose, are the epitome of what I think a ballerina is: a being at once delicate and decisively strong, focused and determined. Womanly and feminine, yet ethereal. It's also really the only time I envy the professionals dancing at that level. If I feel so moved just sitting in the audience, imagine what it feels like to be onstage, in that pose and in that costume, while the music transports you.