Ulanova at Forty-Six at Last Dances Before a Camera Giselle

by Frank Bidart

Many ways to dance Giselle, but tonight as you
watch you think that she is what art is, creature

who remembers

her every gesture and senses its relation to the time
just a moment before when she did something

close to it

but then everything was different so what she feels
now is the pathos of the difference. Her body

hopping forward

remembers the pathos of the difference. Each
hop is small, but before each landing she has

stepped through

many ghosts. This and every second is the echo
ofa second like it but different when you had

illusions not

only about others but about yourself. Each gesture
cuts through these other earlier moments to exist as

a new gesture

but carries with it all the others, so what you dance
is the circle or bubble you carry that is all this.

Last updated November 30, 2022