Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Life Is A Ballet - So Point Your Toes

Are you familiar with Billy Elliott ? The story of the boy who likes to dance and wins a place at The Royal Ballet School from where he goes on to become a famous dancer ?

Billy is only a story but The Royal Ballet School exists.

Last night I went to watch The Royal Ballet Company perform Sleeping Beauty.

As much as I would have loved to watch the performance at Covent Garden I sat to enjoy the ballet in Cineworld Northampton, one of many cinemas up and down the country taking live feed from the performance.

It was a truly enjoyable evening - THANK YOU Cineworld and THANK YOU to The Royal Ballet Company.

In last night's performance there were students from the ballet school taking part, no major roles but in the background holding the gifts presented to Princess Aurora. I have to confess The Bolshoi Ballet is my favourite but I love seeing these young students, the real Billy Elliots, taking part in Royal Ballet performances

All my life I have loved music, I was first introduced to opera at the age of sixteen but have to confess ballet is a more recent love of mine. I have always enjoyed the music, of course I have, but listening to the music is just one tiny part of what makes up a performance.

Yes, the dancing is a part and I am constantly amazed at how both male and female dancers can achieve what they do. But beyond the dancing and the music are the scenery, the costumes - last night the costumes were utterly amazing, and the choreography to bring this all together.  Not just the choreography of the dancers themselves but the blending of music, dance, costumes and scenery to present a beautiful tableau to the audience.

My daughter-in-law asked me if you have to "dress up" to be in the audience of a ballet. To go to Covent Garden or the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow where seats cost £1,000 each, I would say this is obligatory. To go to Cineworld Northampton not so. However, when I go to watch the ballet, or opera for that matter, I always make an effort with my dress. It would be impossible to immerse myself in the beauty of what is happening if I were dressed in everyday clothes.

Last night's audience at Cineworld was predominately made up of old biddies, one or two with their husbands. They hobbled in with their walking sticks and made a major effort to find their seats. I looked at how so many of them were dressed, many in anoraks - I would not be seen dead wearing an anorak even in the garden. They all kept their outer clothing on throughout the performance. They had not dressed up but dressed down for the performance.

Come the interval the walking sticks of these geriatric members of the community took on turbo power !  You should have seen them race to the toilet and then to the ice cream counter returning with giant Mr Whippy sundays.  I like ice cream and I love whippy ice cream but to feast on this delight while watching a ballet performance is, to me at least, incongruous.

But never mind the old biddies who in my opinion failed to appreciate the overall beauty of the night. For me it was a delight.  Thank You Cineworld - Thank You The Royal Ballet Company.

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