Sunday Photo Fiction -The Premier Maître de ballet

Every week a photo is used as a prompt to write a piece of fiction, poem or something else in around  200 words. If you fancy having a go, then click on the Sunday Photo Fiction link below, or if you want to read what others have written, then click on the little blue froggy.


168 08 August 14th 2016

Fuchsia Magellanica

“No Francine, you don’t releve now. You do it after Adam has lifted.

Janice, demi-rond, not rond.

Paulette, allongé.

How are you all supposed to be ready for the performance if you cannot do the simplest of moves. Again from the beginning … I don’t care, Francine. When you get it right, then you can go for a drink. Until then, you do as you’re told. You want to be a star, yes? You want to join the Royal Ballet, yes? Do you think they are going to be as nice to you as I am? You know I treat you like my own children. Now, from the start.

David … music. One … two … three … one … two … three. Properly. Now you are doing it. Yes! Yes! ..No! NO! NOOO! Adam, what do you think you are doing? Once more and I replace you! There are plenty of people willing to take your place and work with me.”

The two nurses looked on at the old woman in her wheelchair staring at the ballerina shaped flowers. They wondered what she thought of, as she couldn’t talk since the stroke left her paralysed and unable to speak.


releve – This means to rise from the foot to the demi-pointe.

demi-rond – This means a half-circle. To move the leg either at 45 or 90 degrees off the floor, moving it from the front to the side, from the side to the back.

rond – This means Round

allongé – To stretch out, to make longer

Ballet definitions taken from Ballet Terms Pronunciation – Definitions

21 thoughts on “Sunday Photo Fiction -The Premier Maître de ballet

  1. Wow, that’s amazing and so realistic! I have been scared once with the suggestion of getting kicked out of my dance like that. I think it’s great you can think of something so clever, from just a picture of flowers! (Which are absolutely gorgeous!) A releve can be on pointe too though, not just on demi pointe. 🙂 French term meaning to rise, or to snatch.

    • Thank you 🙂 I have always seen these flowers as ballerinas. They look so much like them.

      I’m glad I was able to catch the realism for you. I got the idea from some of the films with the older women and their canes banging the floor trying to get their pupils to be perfect.

      Thanks K’s also for the info on the relevant as well ☺

  2. Great write. A bit chilling actually. She seems to have spent her life as a ‘mean’ ballet/dance teacher. Now it seems that’s where she lives in her head, the flowers like her students. Disturbing, most definitely.

    • Thanks Mandi 🙂 From what I’ve seen, a lot of them are mean. They seem ti think that the way they act, they mean well but they don’t see what it does to their students. Now she just sees her side all the time.

  3. Terrific piece of writing, Al, so good to see you contributing on this side of the street again.
    Delicate topic sensitively handled.
    Dare I say that I am ‘too too’ impressed!

    • Thank you. I appreciate that. I rewrote it several times as I wasn’t happy with the “real life” aspect.

      I did facepalm at the “too too” comment lol.

  4. Brought back fond memories of my first love. A beautiful and talented dancer. Just goes to illustrate the richness of thoughts even when the body fails …

    • I learned something new as well 🙂 I was just going to say “on your toes” and things like that, but thought it would be more believable to use the real terms. I always write in Word as I am doing it so I can keep an eye on my word count, and it went mad with all the spellings 🙂

  5. How lovely to think that someone stuck inside their head after a stroke is still living in a vibrant world of imagination, populated with interesting characters they can still interact with. The two nurses might think the old lady is crazy, but I think she’s doing a wonderful job of staying sane in terrible circumstances, good for her!

    • Thanks Joy. I would like to think that people locked inside can still “live”. I wonder if it is intentional or if she just doesn’t know the difference.

      • After a while, it might not really matter. On the other hand, maybe this creative escape will keep her spirits up until she recovers — recovery could be possible, you never know. My grandfather had a horrible stroke and the doctors basically wrote him off. Luckily for him, Grandma didn’t let him get off that easily (she was a very firm and persuasive woman), and in the end, he recovered most of his abilities.

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