Friday, February 22, 2013

SWANNING ABOUT


This week the charming Rosemary of Where Five Valleys Meet, showed beautiful photos of Newark Park, a Grade 1 listed house in the Cotswolds.  Among other treasures, a collection of pottery swans were found throughout the house.

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The next day New Zealand blogger Shane, of Roses, Lace and Brocante featured a visit to a summer garden at Coatesville, Auckland.
It seemed perfectly natural that there should be a white swan swimming on the lake...

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It seems these lovely blogs were harbingers of another Swan event:
Yesterday I was suddenly invited to see the Australian Ballet's new production of Swan Lake:





Starring Amber Scott and Adam Bull, with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra  playing Tchaikovsky's ravishing score, it is a triumph of the traditional, tweaked just a little towards contemporary taste.
I enjoyed it very much indeed...


Who remembers Dame Margot Fonteyn?
Here she is in a 1953 production of Swan Lake, discussed in the program.
I saw her here in Brisbane twice, the first time in this role.
She was the most exquisite thing I have ever seen, as she fluttered onto the stage, and I have never forgotten it.  So sad that she died too soon.


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Did you know the black swan is indigenous to Australia?
It was thought to be an impossibility to Europeans, until Willem de Vlamingh sailed up the coast of Western Australia in 1696 and found them in the Swan River.

They have successfully bred in Britain and Europe, and Napoleon and Josephine had black swans in their garden at Malmaison.
And of course, some introduced white swans happily survive, generally in captivity, in Australia.

Hope you swan about in great style this weekend..

xxxx







24 comments:

  1. I'll never forget seeing white swans in Hyde Park in London, then just about everywhere I went in England. Swan is actually my family name,

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    1. Oh yes, I have seen them too Valerie! The white swans are soooo beautiful in England, when we are more used to seeing the black ones here. What a lovely family name you have. xx

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  2. Hello Patricia:
    Such a delightful bevy of swans you enchant us with here. They are such elegant creatures and seem to add a touch of glamour whether they are decorating the house or the lake.

    In the garden at Chartwell there is a wonderful collection of black swans. We always thought that terribly stylish although we never actually copied it ourselves. We kept Black Rock chickens instead!

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance, I have never heard of the swans at Chartwell, but how stylish that would be. As a chicken fancier, I rather like the sound of you Black Rock chicks, though!

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  3. A most delightful post Patricia.
    on the train to Norfolk.. we passed a lake with some swan's on it..but i couldn't get my camera out quick enough. They are such elegant birds.
    I learnt something today. I did not know the black swan was indigenous to Australia.
    There I was.. living in Fremantle and sailed on the Swan ..saw many of them, but didnt know that.
    I love your new blouse.. its come out super. You are so clever.
    I am sure that the ballet was wondeful. How I do remember Dame Margot.. she was so so delicate.
    happy weekend.
    val x

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    1. Hi Val, I didn't know you had lived in Fremantle - you are a well-travelled soul! Glad you also remember Dame Margot, and her exquisite delicacy. She and Nureyev were dynamite together :)
      happy weekend, Px

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  4. Lovely that you were invited to the ballet. From your description it sounds delightful. I learned something new too, didn't know black swans came from Australia. I so enjoy picking little bits of information like that. Part of what makes blogging fun.

    Darla

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    1. I have always enjoyed the ballet, in fact my very first job as a 12 year old was playing piano four hours on a Saturday for a ballet school! Blogging is great for learning new things, in the nicest way.

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  5. Neither did I know the story of the black swans. Never even seen one in person.
    The swan is so beautiful, and indeed ballerinas resemble them/ or vice versa.
    A lovely post, I thank you for it!

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    1. It is intriguing how the ballerinas, with costume and movement, bring the swans to life, and so beautifully. Swans are so elegant, I've always loved them!

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  6. Dear Patricia you have really been swanning around this week.
    Now would you believe it but I actually saw Margot Fonteyn dance Romeo and Juliet with Nureyev in about 1966. She was heading towards 50 years old but it was such a memorable performance.
    Thanks for the mention, so pleased that you enjoyed the post.

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    1. Dear Rosemary, how wonderful you saw Fonteyn and Nureyev together - I had a poster of them on my wall about that time :) She was 50ish when I saw her dance, and still brilliant. I saw Nureyev a bit later, I think in Don Quixote - he was amazing too, eh?
      I love all your posts!

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  7. I have never been to the Ballet, nor have I seen a black swan.They're very beautiful and striking looking creatures. You are clearly drawn to elegance, Patricia.

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    1. Sulky, you must go to the Ballet, at least once! It combines all the arts in one fabulous package: music, costume, drama, well maybe not singing - ha.
      You are right, I have always been drawn to elegance and spend my life trying to be so. Which is a challenge at 5 feet and a bit short!

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  8. I'd love to see Swan Lake but never have seen any ballet in person. The swan pictures are beautiful thank you for sharing.

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    1. You would love Swan Lake, because you are attracted to beauty Debbi. I hope you have the opportunity one day. Glad you liked the swans.

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  9. I was very excited when I saw my first black swan on my first trip to Australia. This is a lovely post, connecting so many "swany" things. It is great to have read Rosemary's post a few days ago, and see how that has taken you through this thought process....blogging at its best ! Jx

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    1. Thank you Janice, I like it when I can find a thread or make a few connections into a little blog story. It is Fun! Maybe we could get a swan to float around on our swimming pool - that would be attractive!

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  10. A ballerina is a truly elegant thing. It's magic to watch them. I only saw Swan Lake performed by a local Ballet Company several years ago. Even so, loved it. Have watched performances on TV as well. I do remember Margo Fonteyn. She was the best. Swans are beautiful birds as well. Have never seen a black one. Such a thoughtful and well put together post, Patricia. Very nice photos.

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    1. Thank you Sanda, Swan Lake is so lovely a ballet, whoever performs it. I'm glad everyone seems to like my swan effort!

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  11. Swan Lake is one of the most wonderful ballets ever. Lucky you! I remember hearing of Dame Margot and Nureyev, but never got to see them in person. By the time I could afford ballet tickets, she had passed away. But I watch old grainy black and white tapes of her and she is still magic.
    Thanks for adding the knowledge of the Australian Black Swan - along with my owl, I have learned more about birds this year than I knew at the start. And the year has just begun.

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  12. Hi Beryl, Margot and Rudi, they were fabulous together! There's always more to learn isn't there.. in fact I didn't know black swans originated in Australia for quite a long time - I just accepted them, as you do!

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  13. What a delightful post, Patricia. I too was fortunate enough to see Fonteyn dance Swan Lake in Oxford, back in 1966 when I was a student. We could only afford tickets up in the gods, but I've never forgotten her exquisite grace.

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    1. Thank you Perpetua, I'm pleased you also saw Fonteyn dance - once seen, never forgotten. It is also really nice to find other bloggers who share the same memory!

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