The lone spotlight shines on the stage. Her aura,radiates in a aureole around her,dark and powerful. The air hangs heavy, dark and damp.
She enters, the black ribbons of her shoes ,crawling up her legs like vines. Her real face is hidden beneath layers of makeup. She is not herself. The black corset seems to hold her in check,she can barely breathe,the laces cut into her skin.
This is not the girl who feared scrutiny. Not the one who heeds the warning. When she first deviated,he looked. ‘Now,he will see.’ She smirked,the smile a far cry from reassuring.
The entrée is complete. She can sense her partner,but his presence of no consequence. He is merely an accessory to her,today is not for him to be seen. The Pas de deux is now laughable,this moment is hers. She will not share.
On cue,the Adaigo begins.
The very word means Slow. These are movements to showcase fluidity and Grace. As her lover’s eyes plead her not to do this,she remembers all the late-nights spent practising. Practising until she was perfect. He taught her how to use her body to talk,to communicate. He taught her not to be afraid of it.
And then the moment is gone. The music consumes her,and as she glides through the movements,the touch of her partner-a slight guide. You can see the grace,the elegance,the flexibility. But she is not fluid. The eyes that follow her feel a instinctive coldness. Every pose she holds is a fraction of a second too long. This is different. Why can’t they see?
Our heroine is,on the surface,breathtaking and on the inside,gasping for breath.
The dark is so much more tempting than the the light. It pleases a part of her that has been denied too long. The struggle is soul-shattering. For how could he tell her not to follow her heart,he who taught her to trust it? How dare he imply she was not ready? He who spent every moment devoted to her.
White or Black? The decision will change her. Irrevocably.
The coda begins.
32 Fouettés en tournant. The goal. The challenge. The dispute.
She raises her leg,and using the impetus,spins.
So far so good…but we’re not even half way there.
She continues,and the darkness is palpable. She is beginning to drown.
Her shadow grows,and so does fear in his heart. She must stop. Soon.
Lost in a maelstrom,she knows it is no longer a choice. She has to do this. For herself. For her black swan. For once, it is about her.
Elation. Almost there. The slight pull in her leg is nothing, ‘ I’ve dealt with worse’ she thinks as she takes a regulated breath,ready for completion. For that pinnacle of perfection. The Elite circle of glory. No more will she be a puppet. No longer will anyone doubt her ability. No more crude remarks about her character and her lover will be heard. She will show them all. The laces in the corset cut and there is a ruby red drop of blood glistening on the floor. She barely felt it. It is of no consequence. Or so you thought.
She can sense the crowd. The eyes waiting for her to do the extraordinary. She shifted by half an inch in the last rond de jambe but she recovered almost flawlessly. Only he noticed. Like he always did. He had a petrifed look on his face,and for her that was the last straw. She was about to accomplish her dream and he didn’t even care.
A slight movement, that’s what changed her life forever. It was half an inch. It shouldn’t have made any difference. But it did. She was ready,because she believed she was. She could have lived like that you know,with her dark side out in the open. Not caring. Not loving. Cold. Perfect,seductive even, but drowning,always drowning on the inside.
The crowd cheered. But as she put her raised leg down it landed in that small,tiny depression in the floor. The one she saw when she was White,and delicate and fragile.
Inspired by Beethoven’s 5 secrets: Part 3.
The third secret is Balance,between the White and the Dark. Too much of either can destroy.