Christmas with Victoria

I'm joining Kathy at A Delightsome Life for her Christmas With Victoria Blog Party. Click on her name for lots more Victoria Christmas posts.

I'm sharing an article from Victoria, December 1988. This issue was published the first year Victoria was published.

The article on page 35 "A Winter's Gathering of Swans
Wonderments of the holiday season inspired by the formal grace of swans.
Once a year wonder mists our eyes, and we see the world through the wide eyes of a child at Christmas. A snowfall dusts the evergreens, and we imagine the sugary forests in our first picture book. In shop windows we see the glorious colors and festive bounty of a Dickens tale. A strain of holiday music, and we hear a choir of triumphant angels. And in the faces of loved ones, the glow of good cheer. Come celebrate the wonderments of the holiday with us, and may the spirit of Christmas bless you all.

A Winter's Gathering of Swans
Nearly two centuries ago, Patrick Conway, age 17, wrote in his journal about the beauty of women, likening them to swans. The eloquence of his words and the natural elegance of swans have inspired this gathering, for what could be more spectacular at the holidays than the pure white demeanor of swans or the crystal clarity of t heir image frozen in timeless beauty?

"A beautiful woman, beautifully elegant, impresses us as art does, changes the weather of our spirit..." -Patrick Conway

Swans - "their feathers floating away over the water like the trailing hems of snowy ball gowns..." -P. Conway

To Dance -- Like Swans

"The Swan Lake"
"The Swan Lake" ballet remains dear to our hearts as a classic tale of love triumphing over its eternal foes, jealousy and deception.

The romance tells of Prince Siegfried meeting the swan queen Odette by a lake. Odette laments a magician's spell holding her captive, to be broken only by a faithful lover. Siegfried swears fidelity, but is tricked into betrothal to another. Later realizing his treachery, Siegfried returns to the lake and with Odette, dives into the lake for eternal reunion in the afterworld.

It seems that such a timeless allegory with a virtuoso lead role- two diametric personalities often portrayed by one dancer - must always have been a favorite. Yet when first produced by Moscow Bolshoi in 1877 "Swan Lake" was unpopular.

Not until after the 1893 death of its composer, Tchaikovsky, was new life brought to his earliest work. And not until performance 13 years later by prima ballerina Anna Pavlova, would the full breadth of its poignant drama be realized. Her name became nearly synonymous with The Dying Swan solo - an indelible connection for Pavlova, whose last request was said to be, "Prepare my swan costume."
I hope you enjoyed seeing this article about Swan Lake. Click on any picture to enlarge and read more.

The next two pages are just a little bonus because I thought they were so pretty!

Thanks for hosting, Kathy!

God Bless.



Sarah said...

Katherine, I don't have this issue. Love seeing this beautiful article. ~ sarah

Ann Nichols said...

I so enjoyed reading this! You displayed it so beautifully too! Thanks so much! I am so happy to become your newest follower! Please join me at my history blog -I'd love to have you stop by!
Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Sherry said...

There is nothing more romantic than ballet! Just gorgeous. And I loved it when Victoria would photograph tables with the cloth gathered up and roses and ribbons holding it up. Wonderful images.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Beautiful article and super post. Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Marty

Lavender Cottage said...

It is so nice to see the older issues of Victoria when someone like yourself shares the pages within. Kathy has shown a number of them too and I enjoy reading them as much as the current magazine.

Terri said...

Oh I do love the ballet! Especially Swan Lake! Thank you for sharing some of the best of Victoria!

Richard Cottrell said...

Love your blog. Love Victorian. I just started a new blog. This post all about Victorian needlepoint.Please drop by and see it and if you like, pass it on. Thanks,Richard

Sherry said...

What a beautiful post about the ballet. Thank you for sharing the story from this lovely magazine, the older issues are still wonderful to read.

Kathy said...

Quite lovely! I love these types of reminders - I wonder how many women think of themselves as elegant as a swan. I found myself sitting taller as I read this beautiful tribute! That's just one of the many reasons I fell so in love with Victoria - her timeless elegance and reminder of how wonderful it can be to be a woman of excellence. Thank you for joining me in Christmas with Victoria - you've made it all the more special,