Victoria is the music, mirrored in Anna’s ballet dancing.
As humans, we are designed by nature and society to have a dream and make everything that it is in our power to make that dream come true.
The true dream is based on real talent from within genes and nature’s wonders.
Only few people have a real talent and manage to make out of it a real dream and make it come true during their lifetimes.
“The music and the mirror” by Lola Keely tells the story of a woman’s talent at ballet dancing, which becomes a dream come true thanks to her perseverance and a chance offered by her mentor’s faith in her talent.
Anna Gale’s dream to dance ballet at an elite ballet company at the Metropolitan Performing Arts Center in new York came true at just 21 years old.
She is happy to be amongst most talented young ballet dancers in America and proud that one of the teachers is her idol, the dramatic, mysteries and utterly beautiful, Victoria Ford.
Anna’s appearance as a tall, blue eyed, long blonde hair maiden evokes a bit of a naiveté and innocence.
She is unaware and a little naive of the competition, expectations, pressure and flaws in the world of ballet. She is the newbie to be mocked.
Anna’s childhood wasn’t very happy, her mother Inessa came from the Ukraine and she didn’t know much about her father. Her mother loved to watch ballet dance.
Her adoptive mother, Marcia was a nice person and the only mother she really knew and the one who took her to see one of Victoria Ford’s shows when she was a little girls and then she established what she will do when she will grow up. Also, Anna’s sister Jess is a very important presence in her life, working in the show industry in New York, she is really helpful to Anna’s balance to adapt to her new life.
Now, all Anna needs is to show her ballet dancing talent and impress Victoria.
The star and the most complex character of the story is the ice queen Victoria Ford.
She is introduced to the reader as the elite ballet company’s most feared teacher and artistic director. She doesn’t take anything for granted. She doesn’t spare anyone.
She only searches for real talent and the people who can give everything to become the raw diamond she can polish and bring on the top of succes’s highest mountain, where she once stood.
She has a beautiful home, a limousine with a driver, fabulous sunglasses and the diva attitude.
Victoria was a huge ballet star, her talent, her technique and her passion for ballet dance were brought on the heights of success that has conquered the world.
She has danced in London, New York, San Francisco, Paris a.s.o., becoming the Royal Opera House in London prima ballerina.
She has always wanted to do achieve the above merit for the Garnier Opera House in Paris, yet she missed.
Eleven years ago, her career as a prima ballerina took an abrupt end as her dancing partner Rick didn’t catch her right on stage. Yet, this abrupt end is enveloped in mystery and unconfirmed by Victoria herself. Rick felt guilty and when he founded the elite ballet company in New York, he offered Victoria the artistic director job. Once brief lovers, now boss and employee, they don’t really get along anymore. And Victoria fears a bad revenge on herself, as Rick needs a real hit from her part this season or leave the company.
Victoria always dresses in black, the only splashes of color are her short blonde hair and her Hermes scarves. She seems to mourn her career’s end and somehow hides her beautiful body not wanting to show off in anyway, but she searches for a golden gem talented individual. There is nothing and none else in her life but some brief encounters like Teresa, and she is nearly approaching forty years, yet she knows she can still be a star, only behind the scene, now.
Anna and Victoria’s first meeting is at Anna’s first class at the elite ballet company, when a silly incident almost ruins Anna’s chances in Victoria’s eyes, but after Victoria asks her to dance, she sees a hidden gem in the new girl and the potential star of the new season.
The adventure starts.
Anna struggles, forces her body, gives her best to impress Victoria even more, now, that another of her dreams has come true: she gets private lessons for Victoria herself, for a new piece Victoria wants to feature this season.
The brilliant, flamboyant Victoria is impressed, but she needs more and she pushes Anna to the edges of her talent, to get the best of it.
During her ballet diva years and now as a retired one and an artistic director, Victoria gets a lot of proposals of all kind, especially intimate ones, she is tired of impetuous men or over zealous star struck students, she just wants to focus on Anna’s talent to finally show the world she also has a talent in discovering other talents as of her own and also save her job.
I loved their back and forth demands, struggles, long hours, hard work and closeness.
There are also funny moments, especially when Victoria keeps calling Anna “Anya”.
Irina is a ballet dancer from the same generation as Victoria and her resemblance to Anna’s mother is stricking. She is the pepper in the story.
The side characters as Irina, Delphine, Gabriel, Ethan, Michelle, Kelly or Rick are nicely built and enveloped in the story line.
Ethan is Anna’s only friend at the ballet company.
Delphine and Gabriel are the best dancers of the elite ballet company and of course, there is a glint of jealousy when Victoria chooses Anna as prime.
Kelly is Victoria’s secretary, she is hilarious and her conversations with Victoria are a blast.
Of course, there are turns in the plot, such as sabotage and injury towards Anna, jealousy and much more towards Victoria.
But, with patience and perseverance, Victoria and Anna manage to create beauty out of their talent, together with the other members of the elite ballet company.
This season, the elite ballet company will feature :
Tudor’s Gala performance modernized by Victoria featuring Anna, Delphine and Irina
The Prince of the Pagodas featuring Anna
La Bayadere featuring Delphine and Gabriel
Sleeping beauty featuring Anna
Victoria is the music, mirrored in Anna’s ballet dancing.
“Making her own brief return to the stage tonight, Ford gave a timely reminder that the city has not had a true prima ballerina of her standing since she retired. If she is to share with us one more gift, it would be the uncovering of a worthy successor.”
Under these circumstances, with so little free time, with much pressure to succeed, Victoria and Anna find out in each other something they have been missing all along.
Victoria’s ice queen image falters, as her skin is burning hot and she kisses like a goddess and teaches Anna much more than just ballet, while Anna’s innocence, kindness, beauty and talent are everything Victoria has been looking for all this time.
There are many beautiful scenes in the story line. One of them is when Victoria dances for Anna and another one is when Anna and Victoria rehearse together for Anna’s part in the Prince of the Pagodas and their kiss near the Nutcracker poster.
I adored Anna’s ballet dancing and her spread of talent and I was totally in love with Victoria, before and after her ice queen facade melted and I got to know the real human behind it.
This is how I imagined Victoria ballet dance:
This is how I imagined Anna ballet dance:
Excerpts from the book :