“Position of Elsewhere”

This abstract phrase is the title of an hour-long piece in the repertoire of the Cullberg Ballet troupe, danced to the music of Jean-Louis Huhta. It was my great pleasure to see it performed recently at the Vitabergs Park Theatre, an amphitheatre, in Stockholm (Parkteatern, Vitabergsparken).

One cannot successfully describe (literally, put into writing) the sublimity of the graceful, intricately simple, competent and just plain beautiful movements of dancers who are so fully integrated in their movements they often appear as a single living organism.

There. I tried to put the experience into words, anyway.

Here is a Youtube presentation of a rehearsal of “Position of Elsewhere” by the Cullberg Ballet.

Diane Pavellas, a student of Ephraim Geersh, around age four, Brooklyn, New York

It has been too long since I have seen ballet performed by professionals; that is, dancers who have as a basis for their art the movements and other attributes of classical ballet. Members of my family have appreciated classical ballet since I can remember. My younger sister, Diane, took ballet lessons for eight years in Brooklyn, then in San Francisco (with the Christiansen Ballet) when the Pavellas family moved back to their home town.

A cousin through marriage, Christine Sarry, influenced by Diane’s love of ballet, began lessons also and eventually was a major dancer with at least two ballet troupes in New York: The Eliot Feld Ballet and the American Ballet Theater.

Christine Sarry

Christy was a principal dancer in Aaron Copland’s Rodeo, choreographed by Agnes De Mille.

“…producers were hard-pressed to replicate the skill with which de Mille had portrayed the lead (‘Cowgirl’ in Rodeo). De Mille retained veto power over any casting of the ballet, which often sent companies to extremes in order to find a worthy Cowgirl.” (Source)

Here is Christy dancing as “The Cowgirl.” Agnes de Mille’s will provides Christine Sarry exclusive rights to approve dancers for the role of (or for a certain dance of) “The Cowgirl”.

This reminiscence has value, perhaps, in establishing a small measure of authority in my remarks here about the Cullberg Ballet.

Members of the Cullberg Ballet taking their final bows at the performance of August 24, 2009 at Parkteatern, Vitabergsparken

From the Fall schedule of Dansens Hus (The House of Dance), I see that the Cullberg Ballet will perform “Matter of a Maker” in Stockholm in November, the 21st, 22nd and 24th. The music will be by Owen Belton and Beastie Boys.

They will also perform “Xpectacle” by Crystal Pite November 25-27.

I’ll be sure to get my tickets early.


About Ron Pavellas

Expatriate Californian living in Sweden with wife. Retired from employment in the USA. Currently focused on blog articles, memoirs, and creative writing.
This entry was posted in Christine Sarry, Diane H. Pavellas and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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