Why You Need To Go To The Ballet
By Ken DeLaat
"To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other." -Jack Handy
The Russian National Ballet Theater will be coming to the Dogwood this Tuesday and it is clearly one of those shows you should not miss.
Ok, I know, it's ballet right?
You don’t get it, you don’t understand it, there’s something about it that makes you uncomfortable.
But have you tried it?
No, I don’t mean strapping on a pair of pointe shoes and executing a pas de valse in the living room, I’m talking about...
...taking in this rather remarkable art form that uses the athleticism, grace and precision of the performers to tell a story.
If you’ve never been to a ballet you may be surprised by your reaction.
As an exchange student to Finland in high school there was a group of us exchangers who went to Russia visiting what was then called Leningrad (now returned to its original name St Petersburg). Part of our tour was the ballet and while few of us knew much about it and were less than thrilled (at least the boys among us) about this part of the excursion the Russian company that performed the dance proved to be absolutely mind-blowing and a motley group of teens fell under the spell of their artistry that night.
I’ve been hooked ever since.
While still rather unfamiliar with the nuances of this exquisite art form my appreciation for ballet has continued these past four decades or so since that long ago Soviet sojourn.
So here’s what you might look for if you take the plunge.
The Spectacle: It’s Sleeping Beauty so be prepared for lavish costumes and set design along with imaginative lighting that will serve to set the scene for a magical story to unfold.
The Music: It is the second of three ballets composed by Tchaikovsky the other being Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. Classical may not be among your musical preferences but there is no arguing with the magnificence of Master Pyotr’s work. Sit back and drink in this collection of outstanding compositions.
The Theme: It’s Sleeping Beauty right? You know the story……well at least the Disney version or maybe Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent movie but it’s kind of similar. There’s an evil woman (Carabosse), a beautiful princess (Aurora), a curse placed on her as a baby and (like the Disney version) when she grows up to be a beautiful young lady the curse comes true when she pricks her finger and falls asleep as does the entire kingdom. This continues for like 100 years or so before being discovered by a prince with the help of a fairy but Carabosse tries to intervene on the rescue and……
Well, no spoiler alert since maybe you don’t know the story but believe me it’s a good story told, as I said, through some rather incredibly artistic dance.
I encourage the novices among you to give it a try. If you have children or grandchildren take them along. Watch their reactions. Our kids were young when we brought them to the Nutcracker under protest, then witnessed as they were captivated by its rarified beauty requiring annual return trips that continued through most of their early and teenage years.
Besides, if one of your resolutions this year is to try something new, what better time to expand your cultural resume than a Tuesday evening in the middle of what looks to be a rather lengthy stretch of winter.
See you there.
Features and Fun
Concerts, Plays, Happenings, Local Recipes, Gardening, Entertainment, Charities, Fundraisers, upcoming events, Theater, Activities, Tech, and much more.
“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”
- Eric Qualman