2014-03-17 - Beginner Ballet!! The Advanced Class Demonstrates?!

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Title: Beginner Ballet!! The Advanced Class Demonstrates?!

The Advanced Class comes in to teach Beginner Ballet about some of the things they've learned, via demonstration. Anteaterina declares war against Rue -- through dance!!


Mytho, Rue, Duck


Gold Crown Town

OOC - IC Date:

like March 16th or so?? probably around then -- Dec 16, 2013 (part 1)

.******************** Tama Outer City - Infinity Institute ********************.

  • +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Gold Crown Town +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
 Located inexplicably on the third floor of Infinity is a lovely biosphere,
 complete with a very realistic artificial sky. Within, a charming 19th
 century German village known as Gold Crown Town. According to the school
 officials and all of the students, it's always been there. Why wouldn't it
 Gold Crown has its own cobblestone streets, shops, cafes and even variable
 weather. The elevator doors open up to a gate in the stone wall that
 surrounds the town. All of the signs are in German, but can be read anyway
 by individuals who don't know a lick of German. The centerpiece of the town
 is a large clock tower that displays a dancing prince, princess, and other
 spinning sculpture figures at the turn of the hour. There's even a rural
 forested area within the walls of the town, where one can stumble upon
 hidden cottages or swan-filled lakes. It's a nice place to relax during
 study periods.
 The town surrounds Gold Crown Academy, Infinity's art and music school.
 Students can take classes in dance, fine arts and drama, and may get an
 impromptu lesson on marriage from Mister Cat, the infamous ballet teacher.
 Some of the students and residents of Gold Crown Town are walking, talking
 animals. Sometimes, someone who was a human being outside is an animal
 inside, and can't remember things ever having been otherwise. Stranger
 things have happened in the walls of this city.
  • +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+* Players +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*
Rue (D|9th) <Rue>                      Mytho (U|9th) <Mytho>
Duck (U|8th) <Duck The Girl>

.*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+--+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*. | Out <O> Infinity Institute | '*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+--+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*'

<Pose Tracker> Duck [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Gold Crown Town: a sleepy Germanic village, situated with impunity on a tower in Tokyo. It makes perfect sense, honestly. Where else would you put it? In the park? Get real!

No, Gold Crown Town makes perfect sense right where it is. In defiance of the weather 'outside', the sky is almost entirely clear, only a few white puffy clouds drifting across the blue. The bells ring out the time all throughout the school, and -- -- and Duck is late. When is Duck /not/ late?

"... the ADVANCED CLASS will be coming to demonstrate what they have learned!" From the hall, Duck -- Duck the girl, in her Infinity uniform with conspicuously out-of-place ballet shoes which are just a little skew, as if she's pulled them on while still trying to hop to class on one foot -- hears Mister Cat speaking to his students. 'The advanced class? Oh! That means Senior Mytho will be performing, too! He's always so beautiful when he dances, but it's so sad...'

In her contemplation, Duck leans against the door, one foot in the air. It's only a few moments afterwards that she realises precisely what position she's in. She might disappear in the door just in time for that mysterious Advanced Class to catch a glimpse of her uniform. Odd. Wouldn't they be in class already...?

That's a good question, and one Duck hopes no one asks as she tries to sneak into class. "I TRUST that you will all pay particular attention to their /plie/, which is one of the most FUNDAMENTAL aspects of ballet!" And as he spies movement from the corner of his eye, he turns, and points a finger at the new arrival. "... would you disagree, MISS DUCK?!" "O-oh! Um, yes! Absolutely!" Duck raises her hands, waving them wildly as she tries to figure out what he's asking. "There's no way that's important! No way!"

"So you WOULD disagree?!"

"Y-yes! Right! Of course!"

"Well, EVIDENTLY you think yourself ABOVE THE VERY BASICS! Miss Duck, you cannot be so blasé about your studies! If you choose to be so impertinent in the future, I will be forced to have you..." ('Duck's in a pinch!', one student says to another, elbowing her with a barely-hidden grin.) "... mmrrraaaAAARRRRRYYY ME!"

Luckily, those students leap to her defense, flanking her with shocked expressions. "Please don't do that, Mister Cat! Duck's just so stupid, she doesn't know anything about ballet! Take pity on her! She couldn't possibly appreciate the basics!!" And Mister Cat heckles, and hisses... and finally straightens, clapping his hands together. "Advanced class! Please, enter!"


<Pose Tracker> Rue [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

The doors open precisely on cue, because the advance class is composed of young professionals.

They are not so much older than the base class, but proper stagecraft allows them to assume that role. They enter with the kind of easy grace that makes it appear that almost floating is their natural state. Maybe it is. Maybe you get that power when you learn pointe.

At the head of the procession, flanked by several other female dancers, is Rue. She wears a red leotard and a mysterious smile. When she stops, the other girls flow around her to continue on, heedless of her breaking formation. Did Rue make a mistake of some sort? They're just entering, sure, but everyone looked like they were in order!

When the boys near her, she daintily reaches for and takes the arm of the silver-haired Mytho, and then walks the rest of the way with him. Even with the threat of matrimony, there is a ripple of 'awww!'s from the seated beginners.

The boy on the other side of Mytho frowns, keeping his face straight but directing an impressive amount of glaring at Rue from the corner of his eyes. His dour mood is like a thundercloud after the gentleness of the other advanced dancers. His poofy hair is also like a thundercloud.

Rue does not seem to notice him, but she does smile a little wider.

<Pose Tracker> Mytho [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

The class bursts into hushed giggles and elbow-proddings at the entrance of Mytho; entirely of the admiring, rather than scornful, variety. Mr. Cat doesn't try to suppress it; he knows better than to fight a war he cannot win, and he also knows how important marriage can be to young people. Entirely unaware or uninterested in all of that, the Prince pads in in his ballet slippers, somehow effortlessly and unconsciously turning every step into a perfect display of, if not precisely ballet technique, perhaps instead ballet's spirit. He is the soul of refined grace.

He is also the soul of expressionlessness, but this is normal; his liquid, golden eyes are unreadable as he looks across the chamber but not really at anyone in particular. It's easy to misinterpret this, therefore, as him looking directly at /everyone/ in particular, and the giggles intensify as various individuals feel like their neighbors are being gifted by his favor.

The advanced class is allowed to personalize their practice clothing considerably, one of many privileges of prima ballerinas and ballerinos, but Mytho's are entirely plain, white T-shirt, black leggings (and presumably dancing belt beneath).

Crooking his arm with perfect graciousness and dignity, Rue's own fits within his as though it was made to be there. His pale skin is desperately soft to the touch, as she knows well, but not very warm. Strictly room-temperature. She also knows, but presumably does not remember, that that's because he has no heart pumping blood through his veins; Mytho runs entirely on a combination of fantasy and an unending story's requirement.

That, or he has no pulse because he's a vampire. From the absolutely baleful look in Fakir's eyes, this is a distinct possibility. The taller boy shadows them with more than enough professional poise to seem less like a hanger-on or third wheel and more like the king being proceeded by prince and princess.

<Pose Tracker> Duck [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

The beginner's class is full of admiration, and Duck is no exception. "Senior Mytho and Rue look so pretty together!", she exclaims, quietly, to her friends. "Wow, they really are perfect for each other..." "Heh! Duck's jealous! Jealous!" "N-no I'm not!" "Just so long as Senior Fakir isn't taken. He's superior to Senior Mytho in style and demeanour!" "But, he's so..." "Cool?" "Creepy!"

'And he always watches Senior Mytho so closely,' Duck thinks, as she puffs up her cheeks. 'I wonder if he's jealous? Miss Rue is really lovely, so maybe he's jealous! Oh! Or what if he's--!'

Duck's thoughts are interrupted as Mister Cat claps his hands-- uh-- paws, together. "Advanced class, please begin! Beginner class, please watch CLOSELY!"

<Pose Tracker> Rue [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

"Mytho," Rue murmurs, turning her head toward him so she can be as quiet as she pleases. Her breath is warm on his neck, because she is very much alive. "You'll dance with me, won't you?"

Fakir is either full of furious, manly torment as he continues to glare, or is currently planning a slasher movie rampage. The impression falls roughly on the cool/creepy divide.

Rue's gaze lingers on Mytho's profile for a moment, and then she turns to survey the beginner class. How strong she is, to be able to take her eyes off of such beauty, and how gracious she must be to care about what the beginner class looks like.

She scans the crowd. Admiration. Envy. Attention. This is appropriate. She can dance comfortably.

As the music begins, Rue steps away, distancing herself from Mytho but never letting go. Her hand slides down the length of his arm, guiding it toward her, until her fingertips barely intertwine with his.

From there, she begins.

Rue is an unhurried dancer. She can spend such time on delicate pointe work that it seems like she is taking too long, but with a step and a turn she is in place at precisely the intended moment. When speed is necessary, she is never lacking, but crosses space with ephemeral leaps. Later, Mr. Cat will expound: endurance training! Repetition! It takes strength to look so graceful!

Right now, Rue smiles and watches Mytho with half-lidded eyes, even as the routine has begun to wear on the other dancers.

She is insistent with him, straying from his side only when he is preoccupied and never going far. When it seems as if he may have forgotten her, Rue is there to slip into his arms. Mytho barely has to work in the lifts. Rue almost flies on her own, and especially when he is beneath her.

<Pose Tracker> Mytho [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Duck, Pique and Lilie are particularly loud, even in the sea of enthusiasm, and for the briefest of moments Mytho's gaze does actually settle on them. On Duck. His lips are a relaxed, straight line, his eyebrows equally lax, but his eyes...

...in that moment, they seem so lonely.

That's impossible, though; who could ever be lonely when they're the pas de deux partner of the inexorable perfection that is Rue? "Yes, Rue," he agrees easily, with a casual willingness that makes those uninitiated into the Tao of Mytho sigh with envy.

Fakir's eyes narrow, in that moment. A lightning bolt flashes across them, eyecatch-style. But Mytho is already in motion, whirling and twirling, his skill at least that of Rue's, born as it is of immortal idealism rather than years and years of hard work; he is especially good at, indeed, showing off his partner, and never overmimes or undermoves, just precisely where he needs to be to highlight her excellence. This in itself is a difficult art, Mr. Cat will tell the boys later. To share the spotlight so marvelously that you hardly seem to be in it at all, without being any less present on stage, much less fading away.

He, too, is strong and fast all at once, langorously slow, sublimely fluid. When he floats Rue into the air, it is though being in the hands of an angel. His dancing does not so much lack emotion as it allows anyone to project their own onto it -- otherwise, he wouldn't be in Advanced Ballet, because he sure as heck doesn't bring much to the table in that respect. People watch him and imagine their own yearnings, and this is enough.

He meets Rue's eyes with /exactly/ the same expression that he did Duck's.

<Pose Tracker> Duck [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Duck meets Mytho's eyes, and her expression softens. 'He looks so lonely... it's because he shattered his heart, right? It must be so horrible... oh, don't you worry, Senior Mytho! I'll get the shards of your heart back!' One small hand clutches into a determined fist, as she watches the performance. To the outside observer, she just seems to be watching /very/ intently. Perhaps she's determined to learn and make up for her mistakes?

Oh, silly Duck. You'll never make up for all of them!

When the dance has concluded, Mister Cat claps his paws together again. "A truly ROUSING performance! Yes, you truly grow closer and closer to the spirit of ballet each day! It is MARVELOUS! I hope that all of you in the beginner class paid CLOSE ATTENTION...!" With that exclamation, Mister Cat turns to Rue and Mytho. "Miss Rue, Mister Mytho, would you care to help me test the students in this? Selecting a couple of you," he turns to the assembled children, "to dance with these well-practiced people should be an excellent learning experience!"

At the idea that someone might be able to dance with /Senior Mytho/, several of the girls immediately raise their hands. "I volunteer!" "No, me!" Duck is not one of them. 'I'd love to dance with the Prince,' she thinks, 'but I'm just a duck, and I'm really clumsy! I'd make him look bad in front of everyone--' "Duck! Now's your chance!" Lilie exclaims, shoving her forward, so that the poor girl tumbles out in front of all the other students.

<Pose Tracker> Rue [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Mid-lift, Rue looks down upon Mytho, who looks up at her. His eyes never change. She has accepted this part of him.

From certain perspectives, however, it seems like a fresh threat. Her smile fades.

She lands to the expected applause, inclining her head in demure reply. When Mr. Cat suggests a new exercise, the red-clad dancer does not look over the beginner's class for a partner. Instead, she turns to look over her shoulder, where Fakir watches like a jilted suitor. Enough Mytho time for now. Rue knows his limits.

"Pick someone desperate, Mytho," she whispers, leaning close. He won't understand 'desperate.' Maybe academically. The thought is enough to amuse her, anyway.

Rue steps away, crossing her arms as she stalks the crowd. Her inscrutable half-smile has returned, and she does not select someone immediately. Instead, she waits for Mytho to make his choice.

<Pose Tracker> Mytho [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Mytho seems entirely unaffected by the applause of the class or the praise of Mr. Cat. He is no more interested, it seems, in Rue's instructions; his obscenely long eyelashes brush his cheekbones in a confused blink.

Beyond that, the choice is hardly left up to him, though for the briefest, most agonizing second, it seems like he might have chosen Duck, who had been the closest person around by dint of some judicious girlhandling on the part of her friends. However, just as he's opening his mouth, Anteaterina veritably bullies her way forward and boldly grabs his hand -- classmates gasp at her temerity -- and proclaims, "I shall be Mytho's partner!"

Towards the back of the room, leaning lazily up against a mirror, Fakir snorts. He is far too professional to allow it to be audible to more than members of the Advanced Class, however.

Mytho, of course, doesn't argue, simply silently inclining his head, the motion causing the sunlight streaming through the windows to set his fluffy white hair to dazzling.

<Pose Tracker> Rue [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Rue's expression is impenetrable. She and Mytho clearly spend too much time around each other.

Just as easily as she found her place when dancing with Mytho, she is very quickly where she needs to be. She extends her hand over the seated dancers, reaching toward... oh. Oh no, not Duck.

"Will you dance with me?"

<Pose Tracker> Duck [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Duck tumbles forward, and as she's trying to push herself back rightside-up, Anteaterina strides right past her -- and almost bowls her over again. Luckily, Duck doesn't strike out! (Does that even make sense? I'm not a bowler's narrator, you know. I'm a ballerina's narrator.)

"Oh," Duck says, her lips turning downward for a moment, as she finally manages to push her hair out of her eyes to see that Miss Anteaterina had already taken Mytho's hand. Still, it's quickly replaced by a smile. 'That's okay! I'm a duck, just a duck. So I wouldn't be any good as Senior Mytho's partner anyway! No way, I'd make him mess up and--'

Will you dance with me?

The words lance right through Duck's internal monologue, and she looks up at Rue as if, frankly, she'd grown another head. 'That's what I say! Not me the girl, me as Princess Tutu! How did she know? Ohhh, wouldn't Rue make a better Princess Tutu anyway?! She's so much more graceful and perfect and beautiful and--' Pike shoves her from behind. "The immaculate Miss Rue just asked you something, Duck!" Oh. Oh!

Raising her hands up in front of her, Duck waves them, shaking her head. "Oh no no no I'd make you look /really/ bad because I'm so bad at dancing and everything really and I wouldn't want to do that to you because you and Senior Mytho always look so elegant and oh did I say that?! I-I mean that I--"

"MISS DUCK! You are holding up the class! Must you force my hand?! I will have you--"

"W-well if you think it won't be too bad, sure I'll dance with you!" Duck takes Rue's hand, hurriedly, before her teacher can finish his sentence.

<Pose Tracker> Rue [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Rue waits patiently for Duck to work through her issues. When she takes her hand, the older girl leads her from the crowd to a clear spot, apart from the other advanced students but not enough to dance. It appears Mytho and Anteaterina have the floor first.

The music begins. It's just enough noise to cover a quiet conversation. Everyone's eyes are on Mytho, anyway.

"Why do you think you're bad at dancing?" Rue asks. "This class is for enthusiasts."

<Pose Tracker> Mytho [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

The choices decided, Mr. Cat indicates for Mytho and Anteaterina to begin their pas de deux. The player piano in the corner starts up on its own, which occasionally happens yet is entirely unremarkable in its ability to give appropriate background music.

In this case: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1puK-3S0CF0


Their two minute dance rises in intensity with the music's volume. Mytho does not so much have trouble keeping up with Anteaterina's abilities as her enthusiasm; she flings him around like a rag doll, and while he handles it with impossible grace, she is not particularly graceful in comparison. His lifts strive to show off her charm, but when she lifts /him/ it is not so much a triumph of girl power as a threat.

A statement of challenge. There is no joy in it.

Her eyes burn in Rue's direction, every moment of the dance. Mytho's stay softly focused on Anteaterina; dancing is essentially the only thing he has the capacity to enjoy, and he seems (and is) completely oblivious to the political undertones of what's actually going on.

Fakir is not. For the first time all day he actually seems vaguely amused.

<Pose Tracker> Duck [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"Because I'm really clumsy, and I don't pay very good attention so I always miss my cues, and I'm not graceful or -- ummm -- 'poised' at all!" Duck had to take a moment to try and remember that word. Too big for her vocabulary? Probably. She laughs, nervously. "I mean I'd /like/ to be a good dancer but I'm really just a klutz and not really good at anything, so..."

'And I'm a duck. How could I be a good dancer?' But, you know, Duck can't say that, because Duck is pretending to be a girl. Instead, she quiets, as she watches Anteaterina and Mytho dance. "... Miss Anteaterina's dancing is so angry," Duck murmurs, looking at them with sad eyes. "I wonder why...?"

<Pose Tracker> Rue [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Rue is watching. Anteaterina has her audience. She is throwing a tantrum. It's ugly. She does not know that she has already lost.

At a crucial moment of their eyes meeting, Rue turns away to look at Duck. Her hand rests lightly on her shoulder.

"You noticed why she is dancing. There's something you're good at."

The music ends. There is appropriate applause. When the space is cleared, Rue gently presses on Duck's shoulder to stir her into action. It's an unfortunate habit at this point.

In front of the entire beginner's class may or may not be a novel experience for Duck, but there is a different look in everyone's eyes when a member of the advanced class is there. This is the highest level of drama available to the dance academy. Duck is caught in the reflection. Rue, circling, leans in from behind. "Don't be nervous. Just follow my lead."

The player piano begins again. Rue is suddenly taller than a few moments ago. Oh. En pointe. That is a thing advanced dancers do. Yes.

The older girl was not a liar, not when she told Duck just to follow her lead, and not when she displayed such grace in guiding Mytho earlier. It is different being at the center of her attention rather than watching from the outside, because she is so often gone from sight. She is near-silent in her fantastic steps, which means that her presence is quick and often untelegraphed. It is not unmemorable, however. Each time Rue comes into contact with Duck, it is a decisive change in their choreography.

Often surprising, sometimes frightening, always momentous. While it will later be argued who obviously benefited the most, the answer to 'how can a pas de deux have two ballerinas?' is evidently 'beautifully, though unexpectedly.'

<Pose Tracker> Mytho [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Fakir scowls from the get-go, glaring at the floor, annoyed to see Rue fail to get her comeuppance. Perhaps he should show her what happens when a pas de deux has two /boys/.

Mytho, however, is watching. Passively, yes, but attentively in his own manner; his stare is empty of emotion but not of at least vague interest, as the two ballerinas give a spectacular show.

Over the course of the pas de deux, his eyes meet each of theirs in turn, at various points where one or the other is facing his direction; over the course of the pas de deux, this is easy for both of them to notice.

When it's over, Fakir, who is too soulful an artist himself to not give tribute where it's due, grimly but ungrudgingly leads the class in a round of applause.

But for a few wonderful moments, it's just him and Mytho, who is quick to follow his lead. The lithe white-haired boy doesn't smile. He never really smiles. But for a precious moment, the heavy emptiness in his expression seems just a little bit lighter.

<Pose Tracker> Duck [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

'I guess I did notice her emotions... but is that really something you can be good at?' "I-I guess you're right!" Of course, Duck's applause mixes in with the sound of the rest. Even if Anteaterina is angry, that doesn't mean she should be ignored!

Honestly, Rue's direction is probably good, for Duck. The girl gulps, uncertainly lifting her arms into first position, elbows bent and hands meeting in front of her. "Okay..."

Now, let's make one thing clear: Princess Tutu is grace embodied. Duck has /killed/ grace, and most likely tripped over its bloodied body on her way out.

Rue rises en pointe, and Duck... tries, but she's mostly just wobbling on the balls of her feet. But even though Duck is hopeless at a lot of things, she is excellent at /trust/ -- she trusts that Rue will help her, that Rue won't let her fall. And so, even the pariah Miss Duck is made to look halfway decent -- entirely due to her partner, naturally.

But it's interesting, you know? Because even though Duck is ungainly, she has so much overflowing energy and enjoyment, a sort of glow which somehow even makes it past her horrific form. She loves dancing! She's having fun! (She's in awe of Miss Rue's ability!) It is something which shows in her movements, her expressions, her eyes -- oh, her eyes, meeting Mytho's in fleeting moments.

And when the dance finishes, and Duck turns to look at the class, she hears /applause/. Her smile is a little confused, but still -- flattered.

<Pose Tracker> Rue [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

There's weakness in her, at first. Rue steals glances at her challenger during opportune moments. These are not the waiting gaze of someone hoping to catch another's eye, but the surreptitious looks that could easily be coincidence.

It's a momentary weaknesses. It passes when she no longer feels a threat. By the time she and Duck are facing applause, Rue may as well be in a different room entirely from her erstwhile rival.

The older girl touches the younger's elbow, attempting to jar her attention away from the class' admiration. "You did well."

With that, the divine (or advanced, at least) visitation ends. Rue crosses to join the other dancers in her class, taking her place beside Mytho. To the taller Anteaterina, she gives a look of mild (and well-feigned) curiosity. Her gaze flicks to where the beginner's class sits, and then back to Anteaterina, who is now standing alone with the advanced students.

Rue inclines her head ever so slightly, in their direction. It's worse because she's still smiling.

<Pose Tracker> Mytho [Infinity Institute (9)] has posed.

Elsewhere, yet everywhere...

"HEE HEE HEE... things are starting to get interesting!"