Sunday Ballet Blogging

I almost never comment on Sunday Ballet Blogging, because I think that, somehow, dance, above all, (even more than poetry) is generally only diminished by talking about it.

But I can’t let this ballet pass without saying, “Wow, this is ballet at its best.” Really. Ballet, when it works (and when it works, it’s pure magic) draws you in, tells a story that you recognize (either from your own life or from what you’ve learned), and makes (when it doesn’t make you cry) you smile. People think of ballet as “serious,” and “high culture,” and “Boooorrrrriiiiing!”, reacting from their one bad experience in a wet-wool-coats theatre during a matinee with their aged aunts (endured for the banana split afterwards at the drug store, more often than not. I’m an aged aunt, in fact, I’m a Great Aunt. A., look out; you’re on banana split duty in only a few years.)

I also have to say that I have never met a single lawyer who did not adore the Red Queen’s most famous quote (no, not “Off with his head!”):

‘I can’t believe that!’ said Alice.

‘Can’t you?’ the Queen said in a pitying tone. ‘Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.’

Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said ‘one can’t believe impossible things.’

‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!’

Among my acquaintances of a legal bent, “There goes the shawl again!” is a favorite expression.

And, so, with these comments, I commend for your enjoyment this quite good performance of the Red Queen. This isn’t an “easy” role for a “classical” ballerina to play, but it’s done v. well here.

2 responses to “Sunday Ballet Blogging

  1. I would think that another favourite Carroll quotation amongst legal practitioners might be Humpty Dumpty’s remarks regarding the meanings of words. You know the one, of course. It reminds me of Lord Mildew’s dictum in Bluff v. Father Gray:

    “If Parliament does not mean what it says, it must say so.”

    The case, and Lord Mildew, are fictional creations of A.P. Herbert, but the ratio has apparently been cited with approval by courts in the United States.

  2. What I like best about Humpty Dumpty’s quote is the part that isn’t often cited:

    “I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.
    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”
    “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.
    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master that’s all.”
    Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again.

    The modern right has learned a lot from Humpty Dumpty.

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