On a trip to Milan, I visited The Last Supper, which can only be seen by appointment and in small groups. After everyone had left the room, I remained, strangely drawn to the mural on the opposite wall, the Crucifixion scene by Giovanni Montorfano. In the lower right corner, witnessing the Crucifixion, are several Dominican nuns. This caught my eye, having been educated by the Dominicans in New Orleans. Who, I wondered, was the ghostly figure kneeling in prayer, virtually nestled in the skirts of the nuns?
The other night at a dinner party, I had the pleasure of being seated next to ballet wonder and “Swan Lake” starCarlos Acosta. I had never seen him dance, though I’d heard all the comparisons to Nureyev and Baryshnikov, and that he was by far the dancer of his generation. Genial, down-to-earth, and hilariously funny, Carlos had us in hysterics as he told us behind the scene stories and acted out trying to catch a certain ballerina who had refused to rehearse. But my jaw dropped when he told me his personal story. No coddled prodigy, he was a break-dancer from Havana whose elderly father forced him to go to ballet lessons to get him off the streets.