Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Terpsichore, Goddess of Dance

OK, I can be rather pathetic. My guilty pleasure is watching television talent shows. Dancing On Ice, Strictly Come Dancing, American Idol, X-Factor...If it's remotely got music (even the worse gives me something to do by being a sofa critic), I'm likely to be watching it. This week, it's Britain's Got Talent every evening. Fantastic, but OMG! at some of the 'talent' on offer. Such a wide range of skills, skill levels, and bravery.  It made me think about who and what inspires people to develop their talents.

I figure that the best way to introduce today's goddess, Terpsichore, is with this video:

Ok, yes, I know, how retro cheesy. Nothing like the fantastic Olivia Newton-John and ELO to brighten your day. Oops, forgot to say that "Xanadu" is another guilty pleasure. When I was young, I was fascinated with Olivia, and I watched this a lot. I still watch it a lot.  The reason that I've chosen it is because of who her character, Kira, is supposed to be portraying. She is one of the nine Muses in Greek mythology, Terpsichore.

Terpsichore and her sisters were daughters of Zeus, who slept with Mnemosyne for nine consecutive nights to give birth to the nine Muses. They were then given to the God, Apollo, to raise and teach his arts. Each grew to show their individual talents. Terpsichore's talent was dance and choral music, and was known to enjoy dancing the most. She is mentioned by philosophers and poets, such as Plato, her name is given to dances and dancers, and also the name of a British Naval destroyer in WWII. It is believed that Terpsichore was the mother of the Sirens, Pisinoe, Aglaope, Thelxiope.

Ok, as kitsch as "Xanadu" may be, they did a fairly reasonable job of introducing and adding a current story of how the goddesses still influence mankind, and that the gods and goddesses are fallible, as well, with Kira falling in love with Sonny when she shouldn't have. And that she had inspired previous generations, like Gene Kelly's character, Danny.

We just have to excuse the mixed cultural references...Greek Goddesses mixed in with the name of Kublai Khan's city of pleasure in China, Xanadu. But, that can be a blog for another day.

No matter who your God or Goddess of choice is, there's always somebody or something that inspires people. And it's not just inspiration for dancing, music, or writing. If you enjoy your job, spending time with your family, or any other activity, be thankful that your inspiration is strong and eye-opening.



Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info. I had never read about her before.

Melissa Wheeler said...

Thanks for posting :) I had never heard of her before until I did a little bit of research. I blame a friend for posting the video on her Facebook wall, and my curiosity getting the best of me to look up the correspondences.