Wednesday, May 16, 2007

in which Princess Haiku looks for the Dark Swan

The English National Ballet Company will be performing Swan Lake Ballet at Versailles this summer. Although I love modern dance the archetypes in classical dance have an undiluted power. Perhaps that is why people return to them generation after generation.
I found a discussion of the possible origin of the Swan Lake myth at

and if interested you can read more here.

This entry on the Swan Lake Discussion board caught my attention.

"Midori's reference to the English swan-shooting ballad brought a couple of other ones to mind. (Peter, Paul and Mary recorded a version of that ballad called "Polly Von" - nice, tragic tale). A couple of other woman-transformed-into-a-swan ballads have been recorded by Loreena McKennitt ("The Bonny Swans" on her Mask and Mirror CD) and Ceoltoiri ("The Cruel Sister" on their 'Women of Ireland' CD) where the youngest sister is pushed into the river by her eldest sister, presumably out of jealousy - and as she floats downstream she is transformed into a swan and a harper fishes her out..."

The swan was a symbol of death in some cultures, and the song of the dying swan was understood as joy at the prospect of entering realms of paradise. I see the swan as a shape shifter, a mirror reflecting a composite anima or animus within. -Or perhaps the dichotomy of the dark and light elements of the human spirit. I also see it as representative of the split in Western culture of sexuality (dark) and innocence "light."

I love mythology and folklore and wish I had found the time to take some classes in it at college. I almost made it to a "Marie de France" class but some required thing won out. My advice to everyone is to follow your heart and study what you love.

I'm interested in your interpretation of your Swan Lake?

flash your intuition here........

Special thanks to the surlalune folks for giving us all such a wonderful resource.

Swans in shamanism

the Swan totem is associated with love, inspiration, intuition, self-transformation, gracefulness and beauty, and also with traveling to the Otherworld. As a water bird, it is also connected with emotions. Swan can help you with seeing the inner beauty in yourself and others, developing your intuition, accepting transformations and balancing your emotions.


Anna said...

I've studied mythical archetypes a great deal, actually, and am forever amazed at the subtle connections of mythical elements from different eras, different cultures - elements that continue to evoke traditional meanings while simultaneously evolving.

Very interesting post.

Princess Haiku said...

Thanks, Anna- I love folk-lore too.

Cergie said...

Have you seen the British movie "Billy Elliot"
A young kid wanting become a lead dancer
At the end of the movie, he is dancing the Swan Lake Ballet and the swans are all males...
It is so now: the ballet is for males
It was so in Paris a few time ago (perhaps last year)

Princess Haiku said...

I know the group you are talking about although I never had the opportunity to see them. Perhaps one day.