Saturday, May 05, 2007

Ballet weekend

After months of anticipation and many rehearsals, Tori’s big ballet recital has come and gone. Our eldest elf performed both admirably and nervously a bit part in "The Elves and the Shoe Maker" downtown in Hong Kong’s City Hall (notable for both its large concert hall and its large dim sum restaurant as of yet untried by us). Tori danced in a party scene, resplendent in her pink gown, with about ten other girls from her ballet class. Adam and Royce, avid readers of the traditional elves and shoemaker tale, pointed out many times that Tori’s party scene was not part of the tale they knew. They refused to accept that the ballet teacher added scenes to make more dancing roles. They also refused to accept that Tori would not be dancing in all scenes and in all prima ballerina spots. Despite some confused expectations, all parental (and Tori’s) expectations were met with a well-organized, dramatic and fun event.

Ballet weekend was crazed and we could not have made it without the babysitting skills and hair bun creation help of visiting friends. Between Saturday’s rehearsals and performance and Sunday’s matinee performance that we all attended, I had plenty of time to read the ballet program. While Tori’s ballet class seemed old-school, I really had no idea. (She takes classes at the American Club, which is across the street from our apartment, and not at the ballet school’s main downtown location). I read that Carol Bateman School of Dancing was established in 1948 and is now the longest operational ballet school in Hong Kong. Carol Bateman herself was interned during World War II at the prisoner camp in Stanley. There she apparently kept fellow prisoners active through dance class and shows. She left Hong Kong in 1967.
While we did not have war and strife standing between ourselves and ballet, we did have a wall. Just prior to Tori’s final performance, she had the idea to run up a concrete wall. In her defense, I think she was trying to run up and jump sideways off the wall, which sounds passable. This did not happen. She hit her head against the wall and fell to the floor. We blotted the blood off, adjusted the hair bun and were off. Tori said her head hurt a lot but she smiled very wide and looked adorable on stage. The purple knot on her head did not emerge until the next day.


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