25 April 2009

On Tiptoe

Last Wednesday, my friend and I went to see a ballet performance in the university theatre. The Russian National Ballet Theatre was in town, performing a one-night only show of Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty. Granted, I never had a ballet experience before, and so my only encounter with ballet is through the music, since I played certain pieces before, like Swan Lake, among others.

Therefore, I did not know what to expect.

Anyway, we were a little bit disappointed with the fact that the music was taped. There was no real orchestra in the theatre, but that was ok, if there were real music, then the ticket would have been more expensive. Good thing I am still a student, I can buy a ticket for just ten bucks.

Anyway, aside from that, I suppose one should simply get used to the fact that the story is supposed to be read first, from the program notes, since, after all, this is a group of people using their bodies to tell a story, but still, there is a limitation as to what the human body can convey. One still has to read the program notes so as to know what exactly is happening at a certain scene.

The weird skirts of the fairies, the ladies, and the princess was also disturbing. I wonder why the ballet skirts are rather stiff, with the edges pointing out, instead of simply flowing down. Why do they need to look like upside-down umbrellas? I really don't know what that was about.

Anyway, I have to say that the people were good at dancing. The feet were wonderful, and they did things that I never imagined possible. However, I suppose I cannot say that I enjoyed it very much. If I want to attach a value judgment to the performance, perhaps, on the enjoyment scale, on a scale of one to ten with ten being "I really enjoyed it very much", I would give it a 7.5. And as a point of comparison, I would give the theatre performance of The Mystery of Edwin Drood a 9.8. Perhaps I simply do not have appreciation for the aforementioned art form.

(Interior Garden, from my National Gallery of Art Series)

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