The Dying Swan
In the 1880’s, the composer Camille Saint Saens wrote a piece called “The Carnival of the Animals, an orchestration that has lots of short movements dedicated to various animals. The final movement before the finale is called The Swan. It’s a beautiful piece, and though it was not written as a ballet, it wasn’t long before a choreographer named Mikhail Fokine choreographed a solo for a ballerina by the name of Anna Pavlova. They called it The Dying Swan, and she would go on to perform the piece over 4,000 times in her lifetime. The dance is based off idea of Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake, and her choreography has influenced much of the swan style for the Swan Lake of today.
Here is a video of Maya Plisetskaya performing the piece in 1975. So beautiful!
Now. This is why I love dance. I found this next video through a related window on YouTube. It’s an audition for the Brazil version of So You Think You Can Dance. It’s a modern, more hip hop-like interpretation of the piece. This is John Lennon da Silva doing his original portrayal of the Dying Swan:
I had to throw this last one in there. This is Lil Buck dancing to a single cello accompaniment to the same song by Yo Yo Ma. He does more crazy stuff than John Silva did, but John’s was first and the most original.
Which is your favorite?