The Dying Swan .. Now A Street Dance

Anah Sari .. Modern, Traditional Dance

The Dying Swan was first performed by the Russian prima ballerina Ana Pavlova in the Noblemen’s Hall, St. Petersburg, Russia in 1905, and first performed in the United States at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York in 1910. The French critic André Levinson wrote: “..By even, gliding motions of the hands, returning to the background from whence she emerged, she seems to strive toward the horizon, as though a moment more and she will fly—exploring the confines of space with her soul. The tension gradually relaxes and she sinks to earth, arms waving faintly as in pain..” American dance critic and photographer Carl Van Vechten noted that the ballet was “the most exquisite specimen of art which she has yet given to the public.” News Flash. Ana Pavlova has performed again! Well not exactly. There was a performance but it was not her–in fact it was not even a ballet. It was, in my opinion, a specimen of art worthy of the label “exquisite” and every bit as elegant and graceful as any prima ballerina. John Lennon Da Silva’s pop-locking interpretation of The Dying Swan, shown in the above video was critical. He performed it on Se Ela Danca Eu Danco, Brazil’s version of the reality television series ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and the goal was to move the judges and move to the next round. Da Silva did both. Actor, director, dancer and choreographer João Wlamir (, one of three judges on the show came to tears and needed a moment off stage to collect himself. “You are an artist” Walmir said to Da Silva. This was not their first impression when he came on stage in street dance gear. Perhaps they thought he would bring some type of satirical imitation–when he told them what he was about to do their message to him was essentially “you better be great or your fired” but this was no parody. His performance left them speechless. It is also the first time that i have seen any attempt of a street dancer to merge his “grove” with ballet and though you may not view Da Silvs’s act as the beginning of something it is clearly a well done choreography. That’s all any dancer can really ask for.

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