Ms. Day, a student of the balletic arts, is hard-pressed to think of a dance form that's more difficult to learn. The terms are all in French, which actually doesn't matter as much as one might think: "Battement dégagé" makes about as much sense during a dance class as its English translation "disengaged beating" does — not much sense at all, that is. And then there are all of the tiring, light-as-air jumps. And the dizzying turns. And those torture devices known more officially as pointe shoes; you know the ones, they're those slippers that allow dancers to stand on their toes. Yes, ballet is one hell of an art form. And those who perform this style of dance make it look so very easy. Witness ballet at its finest and most graceful at one of two places this weekend. Alexandra Ballet (www.alexandraballet.com) presents Coppélia — a ballet that involves a mechanized doll, a jealous fiancée and an easily fooled young man (quite a love triangle, indeed!) — at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (March 8 and 9) at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus (1 University Drive at Natural Bridge Road; 314-516-4949 or www.touhill.org); tickets cost $8 to $40. Additionally, Saint Louis Ballet (pictured, www.stlouisballet.org) presents three pieces, one of which is a ballet by company artistic director Gen Horiuchi, during its Master Works Series, performed at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (March 7 through 9) at Washington University's Edison Theatre (6445 Forsyth Boulevard; 314-935-6543 or www.edison.wustl.edu). Tickets to this show cost $22 to $36.
March 7-9, 2008