Like pretty much everybody in the dance world, we worship legendary ballerina Sylvie Guillem. Yes, she was one of the most astounding technicians ever to grace the stage—right up until her retirement, last year, at the age of 50 (!). But she’s also a thoughtful, engaged, perpetually outspoken artist. Her extraordinary mind is as compelling as her extraordinary body.
Toward the end of her dance career, Guillem became a spirited voice for environmental activism, railing against companies that “want to play God and control nature,” as she told The Australian. Now, she and PETA have created a video explaining why Guillem decided to “raise the barre for animals” by going vegan. “Animals feel pain and love and joy, just as humans do,” she says. “It’s not normal to raise animals to kill them and eat them, not when you don’t need it…Some of them don’t even feel the fresh air. They don’t see the light.”
The video features lovely shots of Guillem, who’s still in phenomenal dance shape, putting The Body through its paces at the barre…
…as well as footage of her cuddling with her two dogs.
And she shares a sentiment that gets at what drives every activist: “A drop of water can’t stop a fire alone, but a drop of water, plus another one, plus another one, then you have the rain, and the rain can stop the fire.”
Watch the whole thing: