Hot and sunny start to the week in Canberra. And the last of the spring flowers in the garden.
I feel like a proud parent, but here are our two baby magpies. I filmed them on Friday afternoon (and the video is a bit shaky because I was trying to fix my hair at the time!). Apparently every magpie family has its own song, and every late-spring-early-summer the young birds start practicing their singing.
These two are disturbingly tame. They try to follow me into the house! Their parents drop them off here at about five-something in the morning, and they stay here all day, until around sunset (I swear, they’re the same as humans!). They’re so cute. Also, they like standing on one leg for some reason.
(I’m going to rant a bit now, so you might want to skim to the next part!)
We went to see The Nutcracker on Saturday night. Back when I was a ballet dancer, there was nothing better than dancing in falling snow.
However, I AM deeply upset they not only called a dance in act two the “Russian dance”, but that they called it the “Gopak”.
“Gopak”, which is actually the Hopak (because Ukrainian and Russian alphabets are different), is the national dance of Ukraine, and has NOTHING do to with Russia. Talk about “cultural appropriation”! On Saturday night it got THE biggest cheer out of all the dances, and it makes my heart hurt.
HERE is the proper Ukrainian (not Russian!) dance! Skip to two minutes in to see the big tricks.
One of the men looks disturbingly like my brother, who used to do this stuff a little while ago.
However – has anybody heard of the book Mao’s Last Dancer? It was also made into a movie. It’s a true story about a Chinese dancer who was forced into the communist system as a ballet dancer, but then defected to the United States, and now lives here in Australia. We got to talk to him, Li Cunxin, again last night, for the first time in ages. He is the director of the ballet company we went to see.