The Royal Ballet Company danced The Sleeping Beauty Ballet in San Antonio last night and KK and I were in the audience - what a dream come true. Both the company and the ballet have strong family connections. The Royal Ballet Company is the first major company I ever saw dance and The Sleeping Beauty Ballet is the ballet that transfixed two year old Joanna - to the point that she stood perfectly still, close to the TV, barely breathing, moving ever so slightly to the music. Its also the first ballet she saw live - the day before our major house fire when she was in second grade. KK's seen lots of ballet live and has already performed on the big stage in The Nutcracker twice, but this performance - just days before her eleventh birthday, was one neither her Mama nor I wanted her to miss - or to miss ourselves. Unfortunately Joanna had to work at Sears. We missed her presence.
But watching the Sleeping Beauty - with close reproductions of the lush, exquisite 1940's sets and costumes - with KK was an amazing treat. She was fascinated by all the countries the dancers came from, (listed in the program) and thought it would be cool to dnce with people from all over the world like that. I asked her, before the curtain went up if she would be more excited to be out in the audience or behind the curtain waiting to dance. She thought a bit and answered "Behind the curtain." Ballerina that she is, KK sat rapt, alert, leaning forward, every second the curtain was up. She surprised me, during the introductory act, by making a quick, quiet inhalation during one of the fairy's solos. I looked at KK questioningly and she whispered quietly " She made a mistake!" She also practically lifted out of her seat clapping at the Prince and Princesses amazing solo leaps and spins. Her favorite dances though were those of the hilarious cats, and Red Riding Hood and The Big Bad Wolf in the wedding scene at the end.
Another part of this story is my appreciation of Bob and his willingness to drive us to San Antonio and take care of the boys - feeding them supper and playing with them in a park, while we attended the ballet. It read a quote tonight in Denzel Washington's book A Hand To Guide Me which applies to my appreciation of Bob and all the people in my grand kids' community. (It's a wonderful book of stories of prominent adults takes on the people who steered them toward directions in which they are glad their lives moved. Colin Powell ( paraphrasing Hillary Clinton's "It takes a village to raise a child) writes that "it takes a tribe to raise a child. It takes people who are interacting with each other to raise a child, people who are connected to that child." I think that's true, and the tribe with which these children are blessed is a rich one.