Sunday, January 24, 2016

Ballet and Me

I went to the ballet alone today. Alone in a theatre that was only 1/10 full. Looks like ballet is not the Victorian’s favorite form of the arts. Or perhaps they are all busy as Rebecca was.

I am working on learning to like the ballet. I don’t think anything of doing homework before I go to the opera or the theatre. But with the ballet, I don’t even know where to begin the homework. In the reviews I spotted the words “precise bourres” and a “backward glissade”, so I started there on the internet – wonderful utube and became intrigued.

The music was Shostakovich, 24 pieces of his selected by the conductor. His widow was watching the production in France. Now that made the conductor feel present. I enjoyed watching the patrons of the ballet in the foyer, always looking for someone who looks like me. No women with white hair that I could see. Then I remember that some places in the world, there is a high value to keeping colour in one’s hair.

Some kinds of homework were done years ago – learning the names of the characters in the play, remembering the arc of the story line, bringing to the story, now a feminist perspective which makes the story darker than before, crushing, really.

The colour palette was black ad white, except for the blue skirt of Bianca and the green silk dress of Katerina. Remember the Elizabeth Taylor / Richard Burton production of The Taming of the Shrew. I can still remember the colour on the buildings and the streets of Padua. And now I see the story performed by the Bolshoi. Magnificent. Don Quixote will be live April 16. A joy to take 2 hours and see ballet.

One other curious thing. Before the ballet started there was an announcement on the screen that because the east coast of the United States is experiencing extreme weather conditions, the ballet will be re-scheduled for them at a different time. Since they are not to go out of their houses unless absolutely necessary, I am wondering which of them was watching that announcement.


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