January 29, 2009

Everything is Beautiful at the Ballet

It always takes me a few days (or weeks) to recover from the ballet.  I spend the entire program swooning.  Sometimes crying (the beauty/the jealous/etc. etc.).  Clapping til my hands are raw.  

Then I leave the theater and get on a train to schlep back to the middle of nowhere and feel like crying because I want to 
a) live in the city (or a city. or just a more populated area that does not require a 2-hr trip to NYC.) 
b) have enough money to go to the ballet approximately once a week 
c) be half - no, one quarter - as magnificent as NYC Ballet's dancers

Not too much to ask, no?

Anyway, last night was glorious, as usual.  I got to revisit my old lunchtime haunt for some Greek salad perfection, pita, and melt-in-your-mouth fried eggplant.  We had fabulous seats.*  And, best of all, I wasn't disappointed by the program.  

I have the worst time selecting which program to attend, mainly because if I had my way I would attend every single one of them.  So, when forced to choose, I very juvenilely select based on the little photos NYC Ballet posts on their Web site.  Right.  A very educated and informed process.  

I tend to enjoy more contemporary pieces, so typically stay away from anything involving mountains of tulle.  I prefer the streamlined look of basic leotard/bodysuit (aka near-nudity) so you can really see the lines and incredible athleticism of the dancers.  

I was pleasantly surprised by Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, which has some rather unflattering fluffy costumes, but amazing choreography.  But then again, it's Balanchine.  Of course it's fantastic.  

I was particularly smitten with Ratmansky's Concerto DSCH.   It was amazing.  He is amazing.  The dancers are amazing.  Amazingness all around.  

Also, Sterling Hylton is absolutely fantastic.  

And Wendy Whelan.  Well, there's really nothing much more to say.  Just.  Wendy Whelan.  

In conclusion, I'd just like to say that if you've never been to the ballet, you should really go.  I think that people tend to have all kinds of misconceptions about the ballet.  That it's for wealthy snobs.  For obsessed balletomanes.  For old folk.**  It's boring.  Dull.  Old-fashioned.  And this is simply not the case.  Companies are incorporating such fabulous contemporary pieces into their repertory that it's really worth checking out.***

Do YOU enjoy the ballet?****

PS - I forgot the most important part of the story.  Which was that because of the snow and slush and incessant rain I wore rainboots - RAINBOOTS - to the ballet.  My new black Hunter rainboots.  With black tights.  And a red skirt.  But still.  RAINBOOTS.  I am beyond ashamed.  But it was so rainy.  And slushy.  And I had my beautiful new BCBG tulip skirt all set and ready to go but then I looked outside at the puddles and the ickyness and I thought, well that's not going to happen is it?  And so I ended up in rainboots.  (And the best part?  Of course the minute I got to NYC, it had STOPPED raining.  Tragic.)

*I should mention that the only way this unemployed girl was able to justify a night out at the ballet was because NYC Ballet was offering a brilliant "buy 1, get one 1/2 off" deal that really just couldn't be passed up.

**Don't get me wrong, older generations do seem to have a greater appreciation for the ballet.  This could be evidenced by the sea of silver hair that surrounded us last night.  But it doesn't matter.  They just know something that the younger generations don't.  GO!

***Take Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company - Wheeldon's goal is to re-establish ballet as a prominent, accessible art form and show that it can be sexy.

****I finally convinced Jared to accompany me last winter.  He was not a fan.  (Though, even I admit it was not the most stimulating program.)  I'm hoping he'll give it a second chance!  (It is likely that he is shaking his head and cackling and saying "hell no" as he reads this).  


Anonymous said...

So happy you sloshed your way into the city for a thrill.
I know the feeling and am delighted you were able to not only get there regardless of the lousy weather - but end up with a bargain rate, too.
Age has nothing to do with loving the ballet...
from an old Mimi

Selena said...

! The Ballet! I try and go at least a couple times a year. Seattle has a great company (PNB)who usually puts on a good show. I must say, I'm more a fan of the 'tulle' ballet. I love the costumes and sets (The Nutcracker may be my all time favorite).

cuileann said...

Ahh...:) I love the ballet and have been going once or twice a year since middle school.

"I have the worst time selecting which program to attend, mainly because if I had my way I would attend every single one of them."
Also completely relate to this statement.

Brandi said...

You're totally the cutest. I could just see you doing all of these things. As for the Hunter boots, they're awesome, so don't fret about that. And I, like you, love the more modern ballet pieces. I saw a friend of a friend perform in some that left me in absolute awe. If Jared ever says no to going, I'll totally say yes.