Monday, February 05, 2007

Last week, a woman was discovered to be keeping 11 swans in her 30-square-meter apartment in Stockholm. The neighbors had called to complain about the smell, and the police broke in to find what first appeared to be two swans and eventually turned out to be 11. The swans seemed to be in relatively good health, although several had been rather severely injured long ago. The woman just liked swans, apparently, despite their reputation for being vicious and strong.

The question all Stockholmers – well, at least all the editors in my section of the office – have been asking themselves, is: How the hell did she capture 11 swans and get them in her apartment without anyone noticing? Or without getting bitten? And what would you say if you encountered your 67-year-old widowed neighbor in the elevator with a snapping, sopping swan?

Tonight, we're going to Dansens Hus to see the Cullberg Ballet in a 40th anniversary performance. The company is perhaps most famous for its performances of Swan Lake, with both men and women as awkward muscular swans, and a few Oedipal moments that seem to be the signature of choreographer Mats Ek.

I wonder if someone would consider choreography for a Swan Apartment ballet for the Cullberg? I would pay good money to see that.

The Swedish word for the day is svanfångster. This word doesn't translate very well, I would use the phrase bagged swans, although apparently it refers more literally to a catch, in the fishing sense of the word. And no doubt someone will comment giving me a precise and obscure Swedish word that means "bagged swans," but hey, I'm doing the best I can.

- by Francis S.

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