Dance: Faux Pas

Severe in stiffened white net and a feathered crown, Prima Ballerina Tamara Karpova delicately wafts across the stage. Rising onto her toes, she pirouettes daintily. The audience starts to giggle. If her style is classic, Karpova's form decidedly is not. No long-limbed Balanchine girl she. At 5 ft. 6½ in., 160 lbs., Karpova's silhouette more closely resembles a sack of potatoes than a royal bird. The house shakes with laughter as her playmates, a brawny quartet of swans who differ vastly in shape and size, galumph through the imaginary forest. Disdainfully, the Black...

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