Sunday, March 11, 2007
For my birthday last week, Andrew got tickets to see the PA Ballet dancing Carmina Burana. I love going to the ballet. I started taking ballet lessons on my 3rd or 4th birthday and continued dancing through college and a bit beyond. When I was a kid, my parents would take me to the ballet and I would make sure that I had my leotards and tights on under my dress and my mom would put my hair in a bun. I can vividly recall my excitement when walking up the garishly carpeted stairs at the Academy of Music, and my focus during the production. We went to see the Nutcracker a few times, and although I know it's an annoying bread and butter production for any corps de ballet, it is a magical experience for a kid. My good friend worked for a number of years backstage at the NYC ballet and a few years ago I went to the city to see them do the Nutcracker. She was apologetic that she couldn't get me seats in the section reserved for friends of ballet employees, and so she'd have to ask me to stand backstage with her during the production. Um, backstage??!?!?! I was suddenly seven years old again. At one point, my friend pointed out that I wasn't looking at the performance on stage; didn't I want to see it? Please, I have the nutcracker freaking memorized, what was interesting was the warming up, the costume adjustments, the costumes up close.
My mother always told me that from when I was little, I liked to sit to the extreme right or left of the house, so that I could see what was happening in the wings. Andrew got tickets that were almost as house right as you can get and we had a beautiful, clear shot into the wings. I saw a soloist cross herself and look to the heavens before going on, I saw a dancer in the costume pictured above unceremoniously yank her strapless bodice up, I saw dancers leaning on the bar in front of the fly rigging. I also enjoy positioning myself during runs of the shows that I'm in so that I can see what's happening both on stage and off at the same time (a la Noises Off). The group I'm rehearsing with now has a great space for that. I can sit in the hallway and look into the side door of the theatre and see people coming out of the wings which empty right into the hallway. I like the cleanliness of what's happening on stage and the messiness and rush of what's happening offstage. I like to know that there was a stubborn piece of hair that wouldn't stay back offstage that managed to get fixed just as the actor walked on stage and that there is someone about to enter because they are standing in the wings.
Oh, and the ballet was beautiful. The costumes were INCREDIBLE and used all kinds of fabrics that did amazing things for the dancers. It was sexy and intelligent and worth dropping some cash on. In the area? Check it out!
made. by k.d.