Sunday, April 10, 2016

Don Quixote - Ballet in 3 Acts and a Prologue

Kitri performed by Ekaterina Krysanova
Don Quixote: theBallet
Over the past few years, I may have been working too hard to like ballet. I am aware of a gap in my own life of dance, theoretically and practically.

If I had my life to do over again, maybe more dance.

But back to working too hard to like the ballet. Today I just sat back in my seat and relaxed, trading off between having my attention on the dancers and then putting my attention to Ludwig Minkus' music.

From my reading in the past few days I learned that this ballet is the Bolshoi's signature piece. And I refreshed my memory about Cervantes' novel, which is fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha.  I admit to have only read part of it.

There are some times in one's life that there is a moment that can be re-created.  One of mine was watching other people leave a cruise ship to go to the ballet and I was standing by a pillar wondering why I wasn't in that group.  That is when I made up my mind to always go to the Russian ballet if I ever had another chance or chances.

Now that chance comes often and I have seen other international companies as well, as a byproduct of watching for when the ballet is coming.

I love the view from the top of the Bolshoi, looking down through the chandelier and scanning the box seats on every level.

The lobby at the intermission is fascinating as well.  There are not many people in the foyer.  I always wonder why?

Today I watched a woman move across the carpet and into a position where she could be photographed by her companion.  I studied her black shoulderless dress, her shoulder length hair and her sequined handbag.  I wondered if she knew how many people and in how many nations, someone was watching this the same way I was.

The preshow and intermission interviews are always hosted by Katya Novikova who translates from from Russian into French and into English.  I listen to all three languages, know that I am hearing the same information many ways.

The dancers are behind her, warming up, doing leaps and stretches.  Today a man was wearing what I thought was an American brand of jogging pants to keep warm and a woman had on thick winter slippers, her feet still pointing  and then relaxing.  At the same time scene changes are going on, simple ones, not like the ones we see at the New York Met where unionized workers show precision and speed.

The audience has their preference for the best dancers.  They clap as the famous dancers come on. They give so many rounds of applause, their clapping all in unison.  The host reminded the audience that in today's show there are so many great dancers, that they may never see such an auspicious production ever again.  I hope that is not true.

This was my best day ever at the ballet.


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