An afternoon of vivid, very vivid impressions. First of all, great ballet dancers are colossal athletes, male and female both. The spins, the lifts, the leaps they tossed off --some of them seemed to me impossible to do at all. I tried to imagine Federer, LeBron James, Eli Manning, Derek Jeter--any famous athlete--doing what they do. I couldn't. They are like circus stars performing fantastic acts, except that they do it all to music.
Second impression: Fame. Hallberg the dancer, Marco Spada the ballet, and Daniel Auber the composer. Hallberg is probably the most famous male dancer working today, but five steps outside the ballet world no one ever heard of him. Auber in his day (1782-1871) was the most famous composer in France, some said the world. There are streets named after him in Paris and in half the other French cities, including the Rue Auber here in Nice, one street over from where I write this. Auber composed Marco Spada, his one ballet, which is almost never danced, and 47 operas, none of which remain in the repertory. Not one, so far as I know, has been sung anywhere in the world in the last fifty or more years.
So much for fame, postumous or otherwise. It strikes some, not others. It can't be explained. And it rarely lasts.