KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 3: Spring 2015
Micro-Memoir: 239 words


by Gavin Larsen

Cinderella’s grand entrance to the ball in Act 2: We courtiers have already danced our sweeping waltz, whirled around the stage by gentlemanly partners, who are elegant in red velvet tunics and tails to match our Romantic tutus. Little ribbon-adorned ponytails are bobby-pinned to the napes of their necks in the style of the fairy-tale era. The ladies’ jeweled tiaras are flecked with rubies. Chests still burning from exertion and exhilaration, we—the twelve couples of the corps de ballet—separate from our triumphant final pose into a long V formation to frame the arrival of Cinderella’s coach—but where is it?

Her Prince peers, curiously, eagerly, now anxiously, to upstage right as it creeps into view, behind the raised balustrade where six supernumerary guards stand at attention. The coach is aslant, strangely, lurching forward as if its wooden horses were old and drunk. The conductor (a veteran of ballet performances) senses trouble and brings the orchestra down to a liturgical pace—the music sounds unrecognizable for its slowness. A courtier, positioned at the top of the steps near the guards and able to see behind the balustrade, has a view: four sweaty, heavy and heaving stagehands on hands and knees pushing and pulling the carriage, straining to keep it upright and cursing out loud, the waistband of one’s pants well below where it should be. Up above, Cinderella grips her stomach muscles and prays for dear life.

Gavin Larsen
Issue 3, Spring 2015

is a former professional ballet dancer. Over the course of her 18-year dance career, she performed with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Alberta Ballet, the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and Oregon Ballet Theatre. She retired in 2010 to focus on teaching and writing about dance. Her articles and essays have appeared in Dance Magazine, Pointe, Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher, Dance USA’s journal From the Green Room, Threepenny Review, and Page & Spine. In 2015 she was a fellow in residence at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

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