lafemme

When did you first begin attending ballet performances? How did you di

26 posts in this topic

The so-called 'dance boom' has much to answer for in my case :happy.png

Share this post


Link to post

Well, my mother took me to see The Sleeping Beauty when I was four, in 1955, and I've been attending ballet performances (and for a while, performing in them :), ever since! (BTW, my mother was afraid I might be restless, but apparently I didn't move or take my eyes off the stage the whole time!)

Share this post


Link to post

It was when I took myself - and sometimes, a date - in the same year!

First experiences are often very memorable, and I still remember from that time a little of Francisco Moncion and Maria Tallchief in Balanchine's Firebird, another NYCB cast in Jerome Robbins's The Age of Anxiety, what must have been the post-de Basil Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo in Petrushka, and maybe it was Ballet Theater in de Mille's Rodeo.

I was in my later teens, and I had noticed some ballet companies in town on tour were putting on some of the ballets I enjoyed casually hearing the music from, on a friend's family's records, so it seemed worth having a look. I had some pretty striking experiences carrying out that experiment, because not much was as I had expected, and I gave it up for a while when I went off to college.

I didn't get really hooked, though, until I got curious again ten years later, and I happened to see Balanchine's Rubies (in the whole Jewels suite), in 1967. By coincidence I already knew well the music it was danced to, and I was riveted by the illusion that the dancers were often doing what the notes and phrases of the music seem to tell them to do. (Rubies was never my top fave, but that was another one of those memorable personal discoveries.)

Share this post


Link to post

It was Giselle-(I know...always Giselle..)-, in Havana...during my teen years.

Share this post


Link to post

My first ballet performance was in or around1992 or 93, when I was in my late 20s. My colleague at work was (and still is) married to NYCB principal dancer Helene Alexopolous. He invited me and another colleague to see Alexopolous as Helena in Midsummer Night's Dream. I also recall that Jock Soto was Puck. I was hooked. Sadly, I slip in and out of contact with my friend due to both our busy schedules, but he is aware that he started me on the path to balletomania.

Share this post


Link to post

My mother took me, along with my best friend from nursery school, to see a film of the Kirov dancing Sleeping Beauty. I was completely smitten...

Share this post


Link to post

May 2011 first live performance at NYCB - Agon and Square Dance. I sat next to a lady named Barbara Milberg Fisher.

She told me she was in the first performance of Agon and she critiqued the program for me. She said they did a good job with Agon; and they left out the hard steps in Square Dance. I knew I was where I was supposed to be.

Share this post


Link to post

My mother, a former nightclub dancer, put me in ballet class at age 4. Later in childhood my dance studio would take us to see touring companies dancing at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. I saw the Kirov do Cinderella and the Royal Ballet do Romeo & Juliet and from then on my life was the never the same!

Share this post


Link to post

May 2011 first live performance at NYCB - Agon and Square Dance. I sat next to a lady named Barbara Milberg Fisher.

She told me she was in the first performance of Agon and she critiqued the program for me. She said they did a good job with Agon; and they left out the hard steps in Square Dance. I knew I was where I was supposed to be.

Wow, what a great opening bill (was the other ballet forgettable?) and a great seat you chose to see it in. As you may know, Millberg has written a memoir that Balanchine lovers love, entitled In Balanchine's Company.

My first trip to the ballet was as part of a high school humanities class in 1975. We saw the Joffrey dance Trinity, The Relativity of Icarus, and The Green Table, in that order. We sat way up in the gallery of Chicago's 4200-seat Auditorium Theatre - but obviously that was close enough.

Share this post


Link to post

kfw, the third piece that Saturday afternoon must have been Apollo, and though I have seen it many times since, I cannot remember that performance. Ms. Milberg told me about her book which I subsequently read. I know in the evening we saw Concerto Barocco, Four Temperaments, and Episodes. I went back the next day and saw a bunch of Stravinsky - Movements, Monumentum, Duo Concertante, and I cannot remember what else. I would love to see The Green Table.

Share this post


Link to post

Late 40s. Danilova/Franklin. Nothing mattered after seeing them. Saw first Balanchine early 50s when they toured to Chicago. My teacher at the time had studied with Balanchine and knew all the dancers. I met so many of them backstage afterward, including the Great Man himself! My future was clinched! I was not yet ten!

Share this post


Link to post

kfw, the third piece that Saturday afternoon must have been Apollo, and though I have seen it many times since, I cannot remember that performance. Ms. Milberg told me about her book which I subsequently read. I know in the evening we saw Concerto Barocco, Four Temperaments, and Episodes. I went back the next day and saw a bunch of Stravinsky - Movements, Monumentum, Duo Concertante, and I cannot remember what else.

My goodness - no wonder you became a fan!

Share this post


Link to post

As a child, my first live performance was the Royal Ballet's "The Sleeping Beauty" at Covent Garden.

The cast: Lesley Collier as Aurora, Marguerite Porter as the Lilac Fairy, Anthony Dowell as Prince Florimund,

Jennifer Penney & Wayne Eagling as the Bluebirds, and Monica Mason as Carabosse.

Share this post


Link to post

(Delurking) I fell in love with ballet when I was about 10 years old, when I saw Balanchine's "The Nutcracker" on TV. Living in a cultural backwater, I didn't get a chance to attend an actual live performance for many years, but eventually my town landed on the tour circuit, and I saw Fonteyn in "La Sylphide" and "Cinderella" and Nureyev in "Le Jeune Homme et La Mort" and "Apollo." Eventually, I was able to afford trips to New York, and saw many NYCB performances with Farrell, Martins, McBride, and the like. And I saw Villella in the subway! I don't get to see live ballet often, so the thrill has never gone away.

Share this post


Link to post

When I was young I had a horsey phase and my 2 favourite horses were Sir Ivor and Nijinksy. Some years later I saw a biography of Vaslav Nijinksy in the library and I borrowed it out of curiosity. Then I started going to the odd ballet, usually mixed programmes. I only really became a ballet watcher on 26th May 1984 when I saw Onegin (London Festival Ballet (now ENB)) at the London Coliseum. I was an overnight convert to ballet. It was a good few years later when I found the programme and realised just whom I had seen - Marcia Haydee and Richard Cragun. No wonder I was bowled over!

Share this post


Link to post

As a child, my first live performance was the Royal Ballet's "The Sleeping Beauty" at Covent Garden.

The cast: Lesley Collier as Aurora, Marguerite Porter as the Lilac Fairy, Anthony Dowell as Prince Florimund,

Jennifer Penney & Wayne Eagling as the Bluebirds, and Monica Mason as Carabosse.

Well no wonder you got hooked! That's not a dream team, it's a celestial team.

Share this post


Link to post

As a child, my first live performance was the Royal Ballet's "The Sleeping Beauty" at Covent Garden.

The cast: Lesley Collier as Aurora, Marguerite Porter as the Lilac Fairy, Anthony Dowell as Prince Florimund,

Jennifer Penney & Wayne Eagling as the Bluebirds, and Monica Mason as Carabosse.

Well no wonder you got hooked! That's not a dream team, it's a celestial team.

Somewhere I have a videotape of that cast that I recorded. It was the Covent Garden Christmas performance probably on PBS. At the end they ceremoniously wheeled out the Christmas cake and Princess Margaret was there to greet the dancers. PS - I've loved Wayne Eagling ever since and would argue that Monica Mason is the best Carabosse there is.

Share this post


Link to post

Bastille Day 1975 when I was out of college, going to a lot of theater performances, and a friend and I decided to throw caution to the winds and take in a ballet and an orchestra performance (Rostropovich!) My first program was Nureyev and Friends: Marguerite and Armand (with Fonteyn), Le Corsaire pas de deux (with a very young Karen Kain), Bejart's Songs of a Wayfarer, with Paolo Bortelucci (sp?), and The Moor's Pavane, with the whole cast.

I thought all ballet would be like this :)

Share this post


Link to post

As a child, my first live performance was the Royal Ballet's "The Sleeping Beauty" at Covent Garden.

The cast: Lesley Collier as Aurora, Marguerite Porter as the Lilac Fairy, Anthony Dowell as Prince Florimund,

Jennifer Penney & Wayne Eagling as the Bluebirds, and Monica Mason as Carabosse.

Well no wonder you got hooked! That's not a dream team, it's a celestial team.

Somewhere I have a videotape of that cast that I recorded. It was the Covent Garden Christmas performance probably on PBS. At the end they ceremoniously wheeled out the Christmas cake and Princess Margaret was there to greet the dancers. PS - I've loved Wayne Eagling ever since and would argue that Monica Mason is the best Carabosse there is.

Yes, it's a very similar cast, only with Merle Park and David Wall as the leads. Collier was one of the prologue fairies; she did probably the speediest canary variation I've seen. Of the Bluebirds the Royal Ballet has filmed over the years, I'm convinced Eagling is by far the best, and as you say, Mason's Carabosse is without equal. It's madness that telecast hasn't been released commercially.

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, yes you're right volcanohunter! It was definitely Merle Park and David Wall - not too shabby!

Share this post


Link to post

My mother took me to see Swan Lake with the Royal Ballet . Performing were Rudi and Margot. Another time it was Don Q with Vasiliev and Maximova. I think then I clearly decided to become a professional ballet dancer. I was taking classes at the time, but I had never seen a major company perform.Thank goodness I had a mother who loved the arts.

Share this post


Link to post

Bastille Day 1975 when I was out of college, going to a lot of theater performances, and a friend and I decided to throw caution to the winds and take in a ballet and an orchestra performance (Rostropovich!) My first program was Nureyev and Friends: Marguerite and Armand (with Fonteyn), Le Corsaire pas de deux (with a very young Karen Kain), Bejart's Songs of a Wayfarer, with Paolo Bortelucci (sp?), and The Moor's Pavane, with the whole cast.

I thought all ballet would be like this smile.png

I felt the same way about the Joffrey performances I saw -- the variety knocked me flat.

Share this post


Link to post