Miss Patty’s Ballet Class

MISS PATTY: Flutter flutter, quick quick, flutter flutter, quick quick. And your hearts are broken, your prince has betrayed you, you’ve been shot with an arrow, and now … you’re dead.

Miss Patty’s class is doing Swan Lake, a ballet composed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and premiered by the Bolshoi Ballet in 1877. The story, based on Russian and/or German folk tales, is about Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer’s curse. A handsome prince named Siegfried falls in love with her, but the sorcerer tricks him into agreeing to marry the sorcerer’s daughter, Odile.

Miss Patty seems to describe the ending of the ballet, where Odette is heartbroken over Siegfried’s betrayal, even as she forgives him for it. In most productions, both lovers die in order to break the curse, although by drowning, not getting hit by an arrow – it is early in the ballet where Siegfried nearly shoots Odette, thinking she is a swan.

Miss Patty may have created her own unique ending for her production (a rather grim one to teach children – children’s productions often substitute a “Disney style” happy ending). Then again, the music used in this scene is Lake in the Moonlight, which plays during the first scene of the ballet. She could be telescoping the ballet into a single scene for her class.

The use of Swan Lake expresses Rachel’s fear that Luke has feelings for Lorelai, demonstrating that she feels betrayed and heartbroken over it. In this episode, both Rory and Paris also fear that the boy they like has found a new girlfriend, only in those cases, the fear is unfounded. Swan Lake is yet another work referenced in which doomed love leads to suicide.

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