1984. The Winter Olympics. British ice dancers Torvill and Dean nearly melt the ice with their passionate performance to Ravel’s Bolero. It makes ice dancing sexy. It takes the world by storm.
I was thirteen, watching the Olympics with my mother. We both love ice skating, and used to make televised ice shows into appointment viewing. Once I was old enough to have a real income, treating Mom to skating shows at the Shark Tank in San Jose became a tradition. One year, we even had seats on the ice.
1986, my junior year of high school. I’m sitting in my Humanities class watching a video of Zubin Mehta conducting Bolero. He’s wearing rehearsal clothes. Black, I think. A t-shirt or a turtleneck. Or maybe it’s just a blazer. A classmate (whose name I won’t mention because it’d be wrong to name-drop during Holidailies) says aloud what I’ve been thinking: Conductors are so sexy.
2002. I’m flipping channels and a half-remembered video is playing on PBS. I saw it once when I was much younger. Dinosaurs marching to extinction to the familiar Ravel composition. Bolero.
2014. I’m in my mother’s rental house in Mexico, the one across the street from the house they were building – the one they moved into in May. The wind is high and I am watching hawks circle the cardon cactus, their circles looping higher and higher as the currents change. I’m starting a new story for a fiction community I belong to. My inspiration comes from the hawks and the music from my ipad: Bolero.
2015. I bought a guitar for my birthday, but all year I’ve also been falling back in love with my cello. I decide to challenge myself. #MusicAdvent wants an alphabetical list this year. I decide to see how many of my choices will feature the cello. Today is Day 2.
I choose Bolero.
Played by 4 cellists.