Friday, May 12, 2006

Macabre Matrimony

Marya, trained in St. Petersburg, enjoys critical praise. “Divine! Bravo!” Each night she curtsies in the sold-out theater. Back stage she removes the doll mask and hair pins. She ices her knee and privately curses. She’s sick of wearing this tutu and wishes she could be cast in the bully ballets instead. “Good news!” The choreographer shouts. “The Metropolitan Ballet Theater hired us! We’re moving the show to Keyworn City!” Marya unlaces everything, rubs and cracks all her throbbing joints; tonight had been the 68th performance of the experimental Gilded Ballet. She nurses her knee and clenches her eyelids until the pain subsides. When she opens her eyes, Vladimir is before her, on one knee. He thanks her for covering up his mistake: when his Trump Tower wig flew off, Marya recovered gracefully, made it look like an intentional move barrowed from the dance tradition of former Soviet fantasy puppetry. “You’ll marry me?” Vladimir proposes. “I have a better idea.” Marya responds. “Would you like our union to be more perfect?” Vladimir nods his head vigorously. “Get up off your knee; we’ll need it for my replacement.” The honeymoon passes and then all the surgical procedures succeed. Soon Marya becomes world famous because she executes impossible dances, like the solo pas de deux; she shifts roles: Prima Ballerina, sauté, Danseur Noble then she pirouettes and she’s Prima Ballerina again. Nowadays she can perform all the moves of all the sissy and all the bully ballets herself. She owes her success to her dear Vladimir, rest his soul; if it weren’t for his generous donation to experimental theater science, Marya would be back humming revolutionary songs to her dying grandmother in Russia. She curtsies again then considers how expertly her new double tongue could manage rebellious lyrics. Well, she’ll tough out this last ballet season. Next year she’s determined to debut as an Opera diva, show off her haunting vibrato, baritone to soprano in one deep breath, falsetto, scream and whisper simultaneously; oh, the highest drama! The audience will flip its wig.

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