Ballets Russes

Prompt for Magpie Tales today, inspiration is Ballest Russes.


Trains hauled them, the ballet, across the country.

Dancers rode the rails to towns unknown.

Places where ballet was a ‘city thing’.

Places where Indians and Black

dancers were not welcome.

Russians either.


They came from across the globe to dance here.

Not for the money, nor for the fame, just to

dance, dance, dance. They rose up on

point for the dance, lifted slender

hips, raise arms and faces

times when you could

still smile on a

stage, perfect.


Dancers, for the love of dance, in a world ripped.

Ripped apart with war and with jealousy.

Two companies danced across the

globe. To Australia and to Witchita,

on train, by sea tossed ship.

They made a million miles,

danced a million notes,

and gave a million

or more smiles.


You don’t know them, do you? What a loss!

The eyes of a Russian ballerina stare,

from the poster on the theatre wall.

You can’t imagine what it

could look like, seeing

her dance to that

music, in those

arms of him

so strong.


Ballet is not the same, you know, their time passed.

No more props, sets or smiling faces.

No joy in dance, just the stern

athletic bodies demanding

you, the audience, be

somber and still

witnesses to

their new



I would love to see a ballet in this style, it is reviving, those who danced teach, and those who were taught dance, and those who love dance watch.  Check out the film.  It is amazing.  Their stories, the first Black American ballerina, the first Aboriginal (Native American) ballerinas, they danced through a war and brought ballet to places that never would have had it without them.

Copyright 2012, Shanyn Silinski



  1. March 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Lovely, shanyn– I’ve been so far behind in returning comments– ack! This was a wonderful experience– I was taken to a performance by The Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo– after that performance several Russian dancers defected to the U.S., one of whom I believe, was Jerome Kern who founded the NYC ballet? I may not have it right. My Aunt Winifred, a journalist and editor, took me and I have loved the ballet ever since. xxxj

    • shanyns said,

      March 5, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Jenne that is so neat that you got to go! I started watching the movie on our version of PBS one night, and stayed up until 2 am to finish…incredible talent and stories! Thanks for coming by…hope you enjoy your reading! xoxox

  2. brian miller said,

    March 5, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    smiles….i spent years around the ballet, being married to a ballerina and have met dancers from all over that came in to guest….and have even danced a bit of it myself….i have 6 dance credits on my college transcripts

    • shanyns said,

      March 5, 2012 at 7:45 pm

      Brian – man of surprises…how totally cool! thanks for the smiles.

  3. Sue Anderson said,

    March 6, 2012 at 12:10 am

    I used to dance in a community dance group myself, and I love the ballet.


    • shanyns said,

      March 6, 2012 at 2:55 am

      So cool Sue! So very cool…thanks for coming by!

  4. Wander said,

    March 6, 2012 at 7:01 am

    thank you for sharing this


    • shanyns said,

      March 8, 2012 at 1:55 am

      and thank you for stopping by! Great that you did, and so glad you enjoyed your read.

  5. March 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    It is such hard work. These female dancers have to be so dedicated to it, they have to more or less give their lives over to it for as long as they can dance. Takes a lot of sacrifice and dedication. Your prose is so fitting and so true, too.

    • shanyns said,

      March 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Thank you! They love their craft, and their partners need that same devotion, it is an amazing love isn’t it? Thanks for coming by.

  6. zongrik said,

    March 6, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    it’s interesting how you turned this into a dance theme.

    i like the form

    • shanyns said,

      March 6, 2012 at 11:41 pm

      Thank you. Her eyes are what did it for me, so dramatic. Glad you stopped by.

  7. March 6, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    Love this…my youngest daughter is the box office manager for the Tulsa Ballet so all this is right up my alley.

    • shanyns said,

      March 6, 2012 at 11:41 pm

      Susie – that is neat, she must see some really interesting shows! Thanks for stopping by, I really am pleased that you enjoyed it.

  8. Lazidaisical said,

    March 8, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Love this story. Love the visual of the lines, it really made the story feel like it was moving like a ballerina.

    • shanyns said,

      March 8, 2012 at 1:55 am

      Why thank you so much! 🙂 So glad you enjoyed, and am so pleased you stopped by.

  9. Tess Kincaid said,

    March 8, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    I love your take…she does have the eyes of a Russian ballerina…

    • shanyns said,

      March 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm

      Tess – thank you! So great that you stopped by, and I’m so pleased you enjoyed the read.

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