Another excerpt from “The Sugar Plum Fairy has left the building!”<P>Her final performance for the NBoC is not until April 16th for Manon in Montreal; nevertheless, Kim Glasco must continue to refine her technique and maintain what Kudelka callously referred to as “dead wood.” There’s always a chance she could receive a call to guest at another company. Of course, there is also a very real chance the very small world of ballet will blackball her for suing the pantaloons and tutus off James Kudelka, Valerie Wilder, Allen Marple, Chairman of the ballet’s Board of Directors; and Director of Public Relations, Julia Drake. You’ll have to figure out for yourself whose wearing what in this toe-to-toe free-for-all at the ballet. There hasn’t been this much ballet ink in Canada since June 29th, 1974. The night Mikhail Baryshnikov defected from his Soviet ballet troupe after a performance at the O’Keefe Centre (now the Hummingbird Centre). <P>Call me a dreamy-eyed ballerina-struck balletomane but even with no make-up, dressed down in leotards, tights and heavy leg warmers—Kimberly Glasco still turns heads 180 degrees! Everybody is fully aware of Glasco’s presence in Pugh’s class: eyes flirts in her direction; some catch a glimpse through the wall to wall mirror; others sneak a peek and whisper. To watch Glasco limber up before class is a delight in itself. For most humans touching the toes is quite an accomplishment: try touching the floor with the palms of your hands; try coaxing your hip sockets to do the splits on the floor; then try bending forward and extending your arms to each ankle; then try... On second thought, DO NOT try any of the above unless under direct supervision by Kevin Pugh. Anywhere from between 20 to 30 dancers, professional and recreational, take his class. Pugh rents studios at the NBoC for his company Dance-Teq (416-361-9498). For $11 per 90 minute class you can tone your buns where the dancers of the NBoC train. Who knows, you may even be sweating side by side with Kimberly Glasco! Of course, while you’re sweating, Kimberly Glasco will be glowing with dew. Ballerinas DO NOT SWEAT! The deal includes changing and showering in the very same rooms where the dancers of the NBoC change and shower. Whoa! Who could ask for anything more?<P>The body of a ballerina; this is not something you create overnight on an assembly-line. A ballerina’s body evolves through years and years of training (Kimberly started at 6). A ballerina must redesign her thighbone to achieve the unnatural position of turn-out. God designed knees and hips to dance north-south; not east-west. A ballerina must strengthen her feet if she wants to dance on her toes. Silly God, he designed feet to slip into sneakers; not those pink instruments of torture known as pointe shoes (Kimberly went up on her toes at 12). <P>Muscles loose and warm, Glasco is ready for the taskmaster! Stand at attention; class is about to begin! The piano woman plays. Soft spoken Kevin Pugh bellows out his barre exercises as best he can: demi-plié, grand plié, battements tendu, rond de jambe à terre, développé, one fancy French term after another. Glasco’s memory dutifully kicks in, as it has since she started on this crazy treadmill of bouquets and aching muscles. To keep those muscles from aching too much, Glasco tunes them with Pilates and pampers herself with plenty of quality time in the whirlpool and on the massage table. Only 10 minutes into this monotony of movement and already Glasco’s body glistens over in a fine sheen of dew. It is important to remember that ballerinas DO NOT SWEAT like the rest of us!<P>By the time Kimberly Glasco was old enough to dance on stage she developed the body of a Porsche: sleek, slender, lots of vroom with no wasted space. No station wagon with wood paneling for this dance goddess! Kimberly Glasco fills her dance tank with high energy foods low in cholesterol and gallons of adrenaline. Due to the lifts and steps involved Kimberly must keep her body fat free. How much does the 5 foot 5 and a half Glasco weigh? “That’s something you don’t want to talk about with women,” advises Pugh. “I’ve lifted Kim many a time, she’s not heavy.” Ballerinas weigh anywhere between 95 to 125 pounds.<P>After 45 minutes of barre work, it’s time to stretch and relax for a bit. Centre work (exercises without the support of the barre) is next. Pugh starts off slow with adagio steps, moves up to pirouettes and finishes class with some grand leaps and turns. After class we all thank the taskmaster and his piano woman with applause. From my view, there appears to be plenty of juice left in this 38 year old ballerina. Time has been very kind to rose Kimberly. Glasco still projects petals of vulnerability through all her thorns of muscle. That’s what it takes to build and play the most difficult musical instrument of all: the ballerina. By the way, it’s every rose’s dream to be plucked for a ballerina. Can you think of a better way for a rose to go?<P><P>------------------<BR>Michael Goldbarth
The world revolves around the beauty of the ballerina.