The Third Leader: Big is beautiful

Share
Related Topics

Despite the usual grim toll of events, and the usual gloom retailers and doom wholesalers, 2007 is not shaping up entirely badly. Yesterday we had the delight of a teenage hero, the young sailor Mike Perham; today we have the equally unexpected turn-up of good news from Russia: 17-stone ballerinas.

Indeed: the Big Ballet, a distinguished company from Perm, home of Diaghilev, is making its first visit here, determined both to entertain and keep every little bit of imposing avoirdupois.

A timely reminder, then, as dieting Britons prepare to shed nine million stones this month, that grace, elegance and style are not qualities exclusive to the determinedly and often smugly concave. We should not lightly dismiss other slightly more slender divas, but I'm sure many balletomanes will agree that the finest dance we have preserved on film is the remarkable interpretation of Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours" by that fetching hippo in Fantasia.

In other spheres, too, the spherical lend a gravity-defying enchantment unavailable to the dully lithe. Have you ever seen the great Oliver Hardy dance? A thing of touchingly nimble beauty, nearly matched by, say, Oscar Peterson at the piano, or Andy "The Viking" Fordham at the oche, or, almost, the Deputy Prime Minister at the mallet (by a neat coincidence, the Big Ballet begins its tour in Hull).

I myself am in full training for Burns Night, where my reeling excites awe and a wide berth for better admiration. And can it also be a coincidence that this is the Chinese year of that most pink, perky and prejudice-prone creature, the pig? We say: big is back!

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

1st Line Service Desk Analyst

£27000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client who are...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Huxley Associates

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23 were killed on the small island of Koh Tao on 15 September  

Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand

Chloe Hamilton
Women-only train carriages would be an insult to both sexes  

Women-only carriages would be an insult to both sexes

Katie Grant
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style