Two pigeons

France & Vincent

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I remember going to see Les Deux Pigeons many years ago, a ballet re-choreographed by the great Frederick Ashton. As with all Ashton’s work, the choreography is beautiful and delicate, and the young dancers captured the movement of the birds perfectly. The tale draws on La Fontaine’s fable and tells a story of young lovers. The fable itself was inspired perhaps by Horace in his Epistles, and the fact that pigeons and doves mate for life:

And we nod in agreement like old familiar doves.
You guard the nest: I praise the streams and woods
And the mossy rocks of a beautiful countryside.

Driving home from my son’s today I saw the saddest of sights. High on the top of a street lamp were two pigeons… ring doves… playing out a tragedy equal to any written.

One was, quite obviously, dead; the lifeless form unmoving on the top of…

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