Saturday, 24 December 2011

Swan Lake








We have a set routine on Saturday mornings at home. Family members stumble downstairs in various states of sleepiness, in hope of finding my dad serving up breakfast and coffee. Then my parents and I fight over who reads which part of the paper, while my brother stays out of things by burrowing into a Beano. Today, despite being Christmas Eve, was no exception – although there was a little more discussion over who got to look at the TV schedule first. As my mum wisely pointed out while I circled listings in a purple felt tip: “It’s not Christmas until the Nutcracker is on”.
Ballet, Doctor Who and Absolutely Fabulous all make for extremely festive viewing (that and the perennial favourite ‘A Muppet Christmas Carol’!) – thus making it the only time of year I really take notice of the TV. To pirouette back to that first mention though, there is nothing more cheering than immersing oneself in watching The Nutcracker (with a score by Tchaikovsky). The sequences remind me of a pastel kaleidoscope, with the spinning fabric of the skirts and the imaginative wonderland sets.  See the Foolish Aesthete for a fascinating analysis, alongside an interesting photo edited by Jill.

Aside from the incessant need to mention dressing up boxes in every other post, I am sure that my determination to maintain an appreciation for ballet would suit my six-year-old self. Like many, when I was younger I nurtured the idea of becoming a ballet dancer – although I must admit that this daydream was influenced primarily by the pretty tutus. Nevertheless, I did my Grade 1 ballet exam and received a stamped certificate with a slanted signature. This exam largely involved ‘graceful’ running from one side of the studio to the other, and the occasional plié in front of the mirrors. However, ambitions swung around as easily as a revolving door, and so on being told I would be “too tall” ever to be a professional dancer, I declared instead that I would make wedding dresses (noticing any kind of froth and frippery theme here?) When young it's simple to skip from one aspiration to another, as easily as hopping over puddles.
Having recently watched a documentary on the working lives of those individuals who choose dance as a career path, I was left both full of admiration and rather glad that I was not one of them! The level of rigour and the expectations that come with the career would be beyond me. If there's any industry that expects perfection, it is ballet. And yet, I am still utterly enthralled when watching the work. Perhaps it lies in appreciating the strength and capability of the human body – to think that it could perform all those jetes and spins! Athleticism and elegance are combined, and the effect is jubilant.

Therefore, it might not come as a surprise that one of my favourite films is ‘The Red Shoes’ – with its title aptly suggesting the profusion of colour, (better than any Christmas tree) in each shot. It's perfect Christmas viewing, and worth buying for the costumes alone. The protagonist, played by the magnificent Moira Shearer, is captivating as she dances her way through a ten minute condensed sequence of the Hans Christian Andersen story of the same name. Andersen was adept at portraying the darker side of dancing, with destructive potential also suggested in another of his stories: ‘The Steadfast Tin Soldier’ – in which the soldier and his paper ballerina are engulfed by flames. However, I’m hoping that the only fires seen this weekend are the ones warming houses filled with festivity, community and appreciation. Plus, it's the only time of year when it is perhaps permissible to dress up as an actual sugar plum fairy!

I must admit that the outfit link is as tenuous as they come – I nicknamed this shoot with my friend Flo ‘Swan Lake’ as - well - the photos were taken next to a lake that has many resident swans. I'm speaking from bias, but isn't her photography fantastic? I could argue that my white and black lace dresses are redolent of Odette and Odile, but that might just be reading into things a little too much. 
If you are celebrating Christmas tomorrow, then I hope you have a warmly wonderful day with family and friends.

49 comments:

Diana said...

precious look!

Katrina said...

The photos are truly gorgeous so I agree with you in saying that your friend is a very good photographer. Your hair and the make up complete the look wonderfully. It all reminded me of some fashion spread in the Vogue era before the year 2000. Quite dreamy. And yes it was a bit strange that the title suggested something more summery and yet I was greeted with a story about the Nutcracker, though wonderful as always.

>'.'<

Thea said...

This is by far one of my favourite of your shoots! Beautiful!

http://theadoraexplorer.blogspot.com/

styleeast said...

You should meet my mum and you could talk about ballet til your hearts are content! Sounds like a lovely, comforting routine your family has, I'm sure you have an equally nice one on Christmas day. Hope you have a wonderful time, Happy Christmas x

Closet Fashionista said...

Those photos are amazing! She's quite talented! :D
And I don't think they show The Nutcracker here....saddddd :(
And i've never seen The Red Shoes, I'll have to check it out!
[MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!]
http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

daisychain said...

I love the Red Shoes. Anything ballet has a special place in my heart; my Mum was a professional dancer before she got married and although I can't dance myself, it's amazing to get an insight in to her world.

Have a magical Christmas beautiful girl x

Leanna Kay said...

As usual, these pictures are marvelous. The one before last-the black and white one-has got to be my favorite. It is so mysterious. Thank you for sharing!

Leanna

Page Song said...

so so so gorgeous!!! i really like the outfit!! it's so elegant and beautiful :)
i really also like your makeup :)
page

Dylana Suarez said...

AMAZING! WOW!

xoxo,

colormenana.blogspot.com

naomuack said...

you looks so gorgeous !!!! :D
i love this post , lovely swan.

http://naomuack.blogspot.com/

naomuack xxx

Irina Lakicevic said...

You and the photos are beautiful! Timeless..

Junaluska said...

Ah, I just got through two weeks of Nutcracker performances! It's strange how ballet becomes more fun as it becomes more challenging. And about the capability of the human body, it's with a weird mix of repulsion and fascination that I watch myself do oversplits.

P.S. I saw your collaboration with Nadinoo - brilliant!

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

Your family's Saturday mornings sound not dissimilar from my own family's. : ) Merry Christmas Roz, you make a beautiful Odette/Odile.

P.S. I loved that Nadinoo film you were in... I thought your interpretations were just perfect!

Natalie Suarez said...

stunning! LOVE YOU! merry christmas :)

xx

natalieoffduty.blogspot.com

Zorian said...

Beautiful and sensitive photos.
Merry Christmas.

Yen said...

The first picture is so dreamy and lovely.

"When young it's simple to skip from one aspiration to another, as easily as hopping over puddles."
That's a really mature statement for someone as young as you are, but as far as life goes, keep dreaming, because one way or another, our life is our own story, and a story will be as tedious as they can be if there is no imagination or aspiration.

Merry Christmas to you and your family! (I'm literally jealous of your family, really.)

June Paski said...

family activities who will we miss when we already live alone :p. I love tutus, when Im child I want to be a tutus seller. Btw, I love ur outfit, esp the black lace. and great photos concept!

xxx
June

Vanessa, Take only Memories said...

What a wonderful dress. The photos are gorgeous. :)

Rosa Fay said...

Ah, these are really beautiful! You look like some sort of beautiful forest nymph. Really lovely.

Happy Christmas!

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

I can imagine you - swanning your way downstairs for coffee. Your friend is a brilliant photographer. You are so beautifully captured. I adore your inner beauty most of all. Happy Christmas. Love.

Miu said...

Merry Christmas!

the nyanzi report said...

I tell you what I cannot wait for: Absolutely Fabulous..."daarling, sweetie..."

merry christmas to you and your family.

The life after said...

So creative!!

The Life After

Clara Turbay said...

Nice post Merry Xmas!!!
http://paquetevistasbien.blogspot.com

Polka Princess said...

You're looking beautiful, my dear Roz......your photographer friend is indeed talented! :)

Nelson Souzza said...

Hello! My first visit, will visit you again. Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed your posts( beautiful pics!). Congrats for your work. If you wish to follow back that would be great I'm at http://nelsonsouzza.blogspot.com
Thanks for sharing!
Merry Christmas!

adrielleroyale said...

You look simply stunning! Yes, great photography, great look. :) I hope you had a very Merry Christmas! :)

bollykecks said...

This is the best post you've done in 2011 I think, it's so fresh and it has a sort of Pre-Raphaelite look to it if that makes sense. You're so beautiful <3

Charlotta Grönberg said...

The photography is beautiful, and I bet the surroundings are romantic and lovey to walk around :) Love your description of a Saturday morning with your family :)

LesPaul said...

Great. I'm french student. I Just try to performmy english reading you. Thank's a lot. Nicolas !

Kate said...

Beautiful photographs, the second is stunning! Your hair looks incredible!

I completely agree with you on children's ambitions changing so quickly. I used to change what I wanted to do every week, and even now, at 15, I'm quick to change my mind, and I'm sure I shall keep doing so for quite a while!

I love The Red Shoes, but this has reminded me that I haven't watched it for a long time. I saw it last year in the cinema and it was a truly magical experience!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
www.styleisalwaysfashionable.blogspot.com

Babes in Woods said...

I love the photography ! Beautiful!

Linsey @ Babes in Woods Vintage Online

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

truly beautiful photos, Roz. your hair looks incredible!
happy holidays and much joy to you and your family, xo

Ireland Casswell-Clarkson said...

Those pictures are stunning with you're hair and make up along with those dresses you look like an avenging angel.
Swan lake is just stunning in every way,You're friend has done an amazing job of capturing that.

Best wishes
Ireland

Marta said...

Girl you're stunning! You make me think of English cottages and woods! I just adore you! You could play in a historical drama or in ,,Never let me go" :D.

Xoxo

Marie said...

Lovely pictures!
I really like your blog, your style is very unique :)

lucia m said...

LOVE IT


www.aroundlucia.com
www.aroundlucia.com

Lydia said...

I love The Nutcracker. There's a production of it here every Christmas season that's really well done; I try to catch it as often as I can. And I love The Muppet Christmas Carol!! I watched it twice this year.

Ida Ayu Melati said...

your hair becomes longer and longer :)

Teo said...

you look gorge and your blog is great,totally following it,mabye we can follow eachother!:]

xoxo Teo'
hope to hear from you soon,check my blog!

http://countryoffashion.blogspot.com

Raez said...

Stunning photographs and styling! You're absolutely breathtaking my dear, truly a vision in these photos!

Also, that is the cutest story, ever. From wanting to be a ballet dancer to switching to making wedding dresses, oh the frivolity of being a kid again :)

Anyways, here's to hoping you had a very merry Christmas and a wonderful start to a new year!

xx Raez

Brighton said...

LOVE love love this look. So beautiful.

the make up looks great!

http://www.brightontheday.com

Lia.R. said...

Yeah my friend is photogenic but so are you! these photos are amazing I especially love the 4th one. Hope you have a good christmas! :)
http://the--fashionblog.blogspot.com/

Caroline said...

beautiful photos! x

http://highstreetfashionlust.blogspot.com

EIGHT LONDON said...

Oh Roz you are too beautiful!

The Foolish Aesthete said...

Odette and Odile would clearly have sold their souls to Von Rothbart to look like you in their human guises! You and your friend have done a superb job here.

I'm just catching up on missed posts and was surprised to see your reference here to mine with Jill's edited photo -- thank you! I love "The Red Shoes", and as a matter of fact, also the "Steadfast Tin Soldier" (and, of course, the "Muppet Christmas Carol", but that's on a different thread). H.C. Andersen was such a gifted storyteller who grasped the human spirit deeply. I am still so affected every time I think of his "Little Match Girl".

I hope you had a beautiful Christmas with your family, and enjoy the New Year! xxx

Amoniel said...

My Mother was also told she would be too tall to actually consider ballet dancing as a career, and that was after quite a few years in a professional ballet school, however, I think that, she too, is glad she didn't pursue that way of life.

Fashionistable said...

You do indeed look wonderful in Flo's pictures. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Xxxx

Ellie Rowe said...

Wow, I love your blog so much :)The photography and clothes in this shoot are just divine! <3