Came across this poem by Julie Bruck in a recent edition of the New Yorker, which matched the photos I took just the day before:
Not one of Mr. Balanchine’s soloists had feet this articulate,
the long bones explicitly spread, then retracted,
even more finely detailed than Leonardo’s plans for his flying machines.
And all this for a stroll, a secondary function,
not the greatdramatic spread and shadow of those pterodactyl wings.
This walking seems determined less by bird volition or
calculations of the small yellow eye
than by an accident of breeze, pushing the bird on a diagonal,
the great feet executing their tendus and lifts in the slowest of increments,
hesitation made exquisitely dimensional,
as if the feet thought themselves through each minute contribution to propulsion,
these outsized apprehenders of grasses and stone, snatchers of mouse and vole,
these mindless magnificents that any time now
will trail their risen bird like useless bits of leather.
Don’t show me your soul, Balanchine used to say, I want to see your foot.