The news travelled on silent feet throughout the cobbled streets of Cape Wrath, and what with the presidential debates, the wars and rumours of wars, the passing of a dancer is a tiny pebble in the social water I suppose,,, but I am a doll, and know little of such things.
But I know what it means to be a dollmaker- to painstakingly craft yourself , minute by minute, your dress, your attitude, your body, learning new ways to push yourself, for the enjoyment of the refined audience. I know what it means to try to fashion others into this image, this dream. Dealing with their obstinances and their ignorances, with love and affection. You are trying to convince a young girl or boy to surrender all hope of normal schooltime friends and events, to give 5 days a week from their 5th birthday till the day their ankles hips or knees give out,, or their diet of under 500 calories a day. (1000 during a show), to endure yelling and screaming and guilt and shame, and then the howls of applause and cries of "Encore!" when you see the result of perfection of poise in motion.
And you have such few friends. You work nights, you are cloistered like a nun, in the temple where you sweat blood through your leotard, and often in your slippers.
Ballet is not easy and it is not friendly, but the craftsman's hands caress you as often as they whittle you, push you and form you, until you Reverance in a deep curtsy on the drape of the stage, the footlights burning you, and through the entire audience you search until you find the only face in the sea that is truly, truly shining equal to your own, and when you wave her to come on stage with you (because you simply cannot imagine taking all this credit yourself), the audience immediately raises to their feet, thousands of hearts pouring out their admiration and gratitude in ovation, for the little dancers, and the loving craftsman, who have all sacrificed all the comforts of their world, to transport the audience to a new world, for the span of an hourglass.
Yvonne Mounsey lived 93 years upon this Earth and transported so many, loved so many, fashioned so many, that were she a statesman, her cold statue upon horseback would reside in town squares across this planet. But that would be inacurrate- such a statue should be of a nearly perfect looking ballerina, one hair wild in her face, holding the barre as tiny dancers peer up adoringly, while she holds forth a single finger, and patiently states for the millionth time,, "now, like me...."
So thru the rain of Cape Wrath's Autumn i walked, without coat, wearing my old colors, the leotard of the ballerina at the turn of the Grand Century. I wanted the world to see that we walk among them, dolls, ballerinas. I arrived to the closed down theater in Caledon Penzance, and spent a good deal of time removing (derendering) the porno cameras and soiled bed on stage, sweeping the hallowed boards till they shined again, then turned on all the lights.
I chose a piece from Romeo and Juliet, "The Parting" piece, and did it thru, I don't know how many times. The first several times I was not at all pleased with,, the last few, I was. But I kept dancing it ,, as if I waited for her to join me, or shout her praises, or instructions.
In the pit, the orchestra pit just beyond the footlights, I am certain I heard a soft voice. I let the success drops roll down my skin as peered into the grand audience hall of the theater, wishing for all the world that someone with money would reclaim its splendor. I would,, but I am just a doll. How could I reclaim such grandeur? I have nothing! No ballerina does. I have no fame or political influence! Few ballerinas ever do. How could I save this house for the edification of all who come and enjoy the great labor of love given them by the artists of dance? How??
Then I heard the soft voice again,,,, and she said,,, "Now,,,, Like Me..."
We will miss you and we will emulate you and we will always love you Yvonne,, thank you.
Au Revoir to the great Yvonne Mounsey- watch this You Tube Clip