Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

I could have danced all night….


Last night I fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition. I drove up to London to see Sylvie Guillem, the French ballet dancer perform. She appeared with the dancer Russell Maliphant in a fairly short program of dances choreographed by Russell Maliphant. It was nothing short of stupendous. I was completely spellbound. Sylvie Guillem is simply the most elegant, graceful dancer I have ever seen, she moves effortlessly, fluidly with perfect balance and astonishing agility.

She started out to be a gymnast and switched to ballet at the age of 11. By the time she was 19 she had been chosen by Rudolf Nureyev to be the youngest ever principal dancer at the Paris Opera Ballet. By the time she was 24, she had caused outrage in France by moving to London and joining the Royal Ballet. Now aged 42, she is still dancing wonderfully, she is still incredibly flexible and gracefully athletic and able to perform her trademark ‘6 o’clock leg extension’ with ease.

sylvie guillem

She has become a champion of contemporary dance and has performed with Russell Maliphant on many occasions. Here is a clip of her dancing from a piece called ‘Broken Fall’ – I can’t embed this video so please click on this link here and watch this. It’s magical.

Next, this is one of the pieces she danced last night. It’s called ‘Two’ (not sure why……) It’s starts out very quietly, the fabulous music by Andy Cowton, slowly builds up to a crescendo and the dance develops into a whirling motion of effortless grace. The wonderful lighting (by Michael Hulls) highlighted her hands and feet which appeared at times as white blurs, while the light shining on her from above shows every muscle in her body.

I am so in awe of her talent. I have never wanted to be able to dance so much as I did last night.


20 responses to “I could have danced all night….

  1. Lady Banana April 5, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Sounds wonderful, pity the video is no longer available…

  2. Diane April 5, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Drat! I linked to the wrong one! All fixed now – thanks for letting me know :-)

  3. laketrees April 5, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    hi Diane…
    what a small world it is !!
    I watched an interview with her on our ABC last weekend…
    a wonderful lady….
    and an exquisite dancer…..

  4. Creechman April 5, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    If you can do that with your leg, I’m basically an american slave, if you have health insurance.

  5. Diane April 6, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Kim – exquisite is a good word for her. I was just blown away by her talent.I have wanted to see her for years – and now I have :-)

    Mark – I wish! :-)

  6. AmyH April 6, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Oh to have that muscle tone! What I wouldn’t give! How fun to have the opportunity to see her. I can understand why you enjoy her so much.

  7. Diane April 6, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    She is 42 and looks amazing – she is so agile and graceful and elegant and flexible and bendy ….and French and….and….THIN!

  8. Frances April 6, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks for visiting my blog. The dance is quite amazing. I love your books.

  9. bre101 April 6, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    oh my! i watched the youtube video! it’s amazing!!!!

    check out bre101 at
    join in on the crazy world of bre10!

    new pages, new stories, new bre101!

  10. Diane April 6, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Frances – the dance is amazing, I agree! Glad you enjoyed my books. I enjoyed my visit to your blog – loved the neck warmer and the baby blanket in particular – gorgeous :-)

    bre101 – glad you enjoyed it! I enjoyed most of my visit to your blog but am now very depressed after reading your latest post :-(

  11. Teresa April 6, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    WOW! I can see why seeing her would completely inspire you (or anyone) to dance! I think you rather look like her, even if you can’t dance like she does.

    She is only 1 yr younger than I am, but oh my goodness has the physique and looks of someone 20 or more yrs younger. I’ve not been that flexible since…oh wait, I have never been that flexible! LOL!

    Thanks for sharing the videos with us, they were wonderful! And glad you had a great time out!

  12. Diane April 6, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    I know what you mean. As the joints get creakier, I can only look in wonder at her. And as for the ‘6 o’clock extension’ – makes my eyes water just thinking about it :-)

    So glad you enjoyed the videos….

  13. perpetualplum April 7, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    I wish I looked like that. She’s all muscles. She’s a bit younger than me, but I bet she’ll be significantly more beautiful at my age.

    What a nice treat!

  14. Lord Likely April 7, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    I applied to be in the ballet, once, but was refused on account of how very prominent my package appeared in tights.

    Ah, well.

    Wonderful stuff, m’dear!

  15. paolo April 7, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    whoah! that was such a wonderful video. thanks.

  16. Diane April 7, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Sue- she is all muscles, in fact she has muscles in places I don’t even have places – but she is so elegant and feminine – not like your body building types :-)

    Your lordship – and the lighting highlights every rippling muscle – as the video shows…..
    Lord Likely in tights – be still my beating heart….. :-)

    Paolo – so glad you enjoyed it!

  17. realitychick83 April 8, 2008 at 5:00 am

    You dance beautifully in other ways, Diane dear!

    Thanks for sharing that amazing YouTube. I’ve never seen anything like it. Riveting … stunning … breathtaking … mesmerizing!

  18. writinggb April 8, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    What an inspiration! Makes me feel like a lot more is possible for me at 43 than I have been thinking lately…not that I’m suddenly going to become a famous dancer. :-)

  19. Diane April 9, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    realitychck83 – how kind of you to say so! And so glad you enjoyed the videos :-)

    Writinggb – I know what you mean – and I’m a lot older than you or Sylvie Guillem :-(
    Still, if I keep playing tennis, maybe the old joints will keep mobile for a while longer…… :-)

  20. Stephen Pollock-Hill March 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Try to catch Styvie Guillem’s latest production of “6,000 miles away” specially the unforgettable “bye” by Mats Ek. Astounding!

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