Archive for November 10, 2020

A Prima Ballerina

Posted in Biographical, Music with tags , , on November 10, 2020 by telescoper

It’s just over a year since my Mam passed away after several years of struggle with dementia. It seems like a century since I flew back to Newcastle to attend her funeral, so much has happened in the world since then. I got through the sad anniversary reasonably well until this morning I came across this video, which had me in pieces. It’s of a lady by the name of Marta C Gonzalez, a former ballet dancer, who passed away last year; the film was made at her care home in Valencia. A care worker plays her music from Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake and briefly she is a prima ballerina once more; the film is intercut with footage of herself dancing on stage in New York in the 1960s. It’s unbearably moving, bringing together the awful tragedy of dementia with the power of music if not to heal but at least to provide some measure of respite. Even when almost all is gone, music seems to remain in the deepest part of our being alongside our most cherished memories which it can bring back to life, if only briefly, before the darkness comes.