Waynestockings: Shapely calves and “astonishing elegance” displayed in annual Swan Lake performance

THE BARN—As the sweet sigh of violin music rises over the beer-soaked field, a hush falls over the crowd of over 10,000 spectators. Grips tighten on solo cups, hearts skip a beat, and all eyes fix raptly onto the small stage. Pi Phi and Tri Delt sisters, customarily granted front row seats, anxiously await the beginning of the performance. Freshman hopefuls yearning after bids nervously fluff their tutus, hoping to be recognized as “Wayne material” by the performers.


A line of feathered European “swans” tip-toe en pointe onto center stage, earning swoons and lustful shrieks from the audience, most notably the front row. With the swell of the trumpets, the ballerinos leap into their most breathtaking performance yet. Slender calves donned in white silken stockings flash mesmerizingly in the spotlight, flaunting a strictly European variety of avian grace.


Waynestockings is remarkable for its tasteful incorporation of so many European traditions. The petit-maître Frenchman leads with glamorous jetés, the dandy British dapperling engages an embroidered handkerchief and twirling teacup in his spins, the Albanian skips, thighs nimble, in traditional Shota, the Spaniard moves his buttocks in seductive Flamenco fashion, and the Austrian sports traditional folk-dancing suspenders that pull his impossibly tight stockings even tighter. At the climax of the performance, the Icelander emerges as the whitest swan, reflecting the spotlight with his dazzlingly unpigmented skin and blinding the entire audience. Far from concerned about their sudden inability to see, the audience breaks into cheers at having the pristine Nordic figure seared permanently into their retinas.


The Czech and Turk, from countries “close enough to Russia,” orchestrate Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece, simultaneously playing violins, piccolos, harps, flutes, and trumpets.


The American members of Wayne Manor, whose informal uniforms seem to be backward baseball caps, gold chain necklaces, and impeccably straight teeth, have been consigned to the “coarse” backstage labor. They are charged with hammering together the stage and props, as well as tracking, tranquilizing, and defeathering Durham’s endangered albino geese for the ballet costumes. During the show itself, the Americans operate the spotlights and curtains, but occasionally serve as bodyguards when spectators, mad with desire, attempt to abduct the Europeans, far too delicate to fend off any such ravishment.


“They say our calves are ‘too meaty’ for the stage,” whispers one such American as he watches the performance from his obscure post as curtain-closer. As the French beau swoops into an exquisite pirouette, a tear of envy—or perhaps awe—slides down the American’s cheek.


The world bears a collective sadness at having to wait another year for the next Waynestockings. We are confident, however, that next year’s prance of our favorite sugarplum fairies will match Swan Lake in Europeanness. In the meantime, be sure not to miss Duke’s next big musical event, Ad Phi Lullaby, in which members of Ad Phi use soft lullaby music and copious amounts of alcohol to lure young freshman girls into their cribs.




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