© John Sawyer – June 2007
“I can’t believe you sometimes? You know nothing
about ballet. I know where these ideas come from. I’m going to ban you
from reading The AGE reviews before performances in future. You just persist in
pushing forward your ill-considered opinions. I ought to know about ballet, I
slaved away in my tutu for 9 years and you’ve been to 2 performances and
become the world’s expert on dance all of a sudden.”
Wendy’s tirade was interrupted by Song Lei, a Timorese
Asylum Seeker. Wendy or I are always running into him on the street somewhere.
He seems to be even more troubled by his demons lately. “Happy
ANZAC Day, Mrs Wendy. Happy ANZAC Day, Mr Wendy”. ANZAC Day was last
week. “How’re you doing Song?”
“Things aren’t too bad Mr Wendy; I’m just going to Casino.
Can you give $2?” I slipped him $10 and after more seasonal greetings, he
crossed the road to catch the tram to Sin City. We sat silently until our tram
“But I was disappointed that the corps de ballet
didn’t actually seem to be in time. Surely the whole show would have been
better if there had been a ballet mistress keeping the beat at rehearsals. 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 ...”
I rap it out on the seat in front while Wendy shouts above the beat.
“Your trouble is you live in the past. Don’t you
understand that this is a new form of dance performance? That was beautifully
choreographed so that each member was doing something different.”
I was incredulous and so was the drunk in the next row who
had been woken up by the shouting.
“I would think it is physically impossible to plan a 5
minute dance routine where no 2 blokes in a mob of 20 ever did the same step at
the same time. I know they did it because I saw it with my own eyes, but they
couldn’t possibly have planned it.”
“Well I’m not talking to you about this again
and that’s that”.
I might actually be right.