The theatre begins to hush, the lights dim, the musicians return to their places, lift their instruments and begin to play. The scene: a dark foggy graveyard, thrust into dark blue hues. The curtain rises. I am already convinced that this will be my favorite act of the evening. Out of far left stage emerges Myrtha, Queen of the Willis. She floats across the stage like a ghost. Her movement is flawless and unfaltering. But for the ever so slight movement of her feet she appears to not be moving at all. It’s breathtaking to watch, and even more overwhelming to imagine being able to move yet not move at the same time. She is more graceful than I can ever hope to be, me who runs into a my bedroom wall on a fairly regular basis. This is what I love about dance, witnessing the human body at its most graceful and fluid, and reveling in that just a little bit. As my mind wanders back, the stage is empty, all that’s left is the orchestra; sit and listen. Then she appears once more, floating out of stage right, forward and back, up and down the stage she moves. speechless.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Ballet. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a ballet, the last being in Prague in 2006. My sister and I saw Raymonda at the Náridní divaldo. So that makes it 5 years since I’ve been to a proper ballet. This time around it was the Mariinsky Ballet performing Giselle at the Kennedy Center. Having never seen Giselle before I was thrilled to be experiencing it for the first time, by such a spectacular company.
I was told that the first act was sweet and fluffy, and it was. The dancing of course was beautiful, the beginnings of a fairy tale, where boys meets girl and they fall in love only to be thwarted in the end by the jealous admirer. Which is where it really gets good. Giselle dances her sorrows at learning that her love is in fact the Count and engaged to the Princess and subsequently dies of a broken heart. My kind of ballet.
The second was absolutely beautiful. The dancing more complex and interesting, the skill more apparent. It is no mystery why this ballet has remained as staple in the ballet world. It was beautiful and lovely, dark and sad and in the end a perfect night at the ballet.