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"I could just go home now. . ."

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#16 ~A.C~



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Posted 12 May 2001 - 07:11 PM

I would leave early because the performance is not what was expected. I have never been to a performance so wonderful that I wanted to leave early, and keep myself in a good mood. I makes sense, though: "If I stay any longer, something might go wrong, and that would spoil the whole evening!" I have only experienced that thought once, but I stayed for the rest of the show. Sleeping Beauty with a 'Russian Ensemble' company, Zelensky and Makarova, together. It got better every second. The mannerisms were just as I hope, and even better! Makarova's arms flowing in a fashion of tranquil dignity, that I knew I would never see anything like again! I left the theatre in the best mood I had been for ages!

[ 05-12-2001: Message edited by: ~A.C~ ]

#17 Yvonne


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Posted 12 May 2001 - 07:25 PM

When I went to see Ballet West in Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream, the first act was so "complete" for me, that I had a slightly difficult time sitting through the second act! I really could have gone home after the first act and still have felt that I saw the complete ballet. I am very familiar with the play and realize what is transpiring in the second act - but for me the first act was perfect in it's self!

When I originally posted about this performance, I was hoping to find out how others felt about both acts, but since not even ONE person responded to that post..........., oh well! :)

As far as mixed bills go, I agree with Lezhkina - money is tight for me (for ballet tickets), so I doubt that I would ever walk out mid-way through the evening. I really want to see "Theme & Variations this month, but it is on the same bill as "Black Cake" and "Polish Pieces", both of which I have NO burning desire to see (also with a wedding comming up in October that I have to foot the bill for, there will be NO ballet tickets for me again until "Nutcracker" time rolls around again!!) :)

[ 05-13-2001: Message edited by: Yvonne ]

#18 felursus


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Posted 13 May 2001 - 11:59 AM

So far, I've never walked out of a full length ballet, but I HAVE sat out a middle ballet of a triple or quadruple bill. I do have a list of ballets I never want to see again. Obviously, if they are full length ballets I just don't buy a ticket. If they appear as part of a mixed bill, the foyer is a great option. When I worked at Covent Garden and standing was free, I only stayed for the parts/casts I was interested in. Sometimes I go in just to watch one variation. Now that I don't have that luxury, I have to be more picky about what I buy tickets for. Standing room at ABT is now $20, so one wouldn't spend that money just to see some corps kid get her big chance at a small role.

#19 Nanatchka


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Posted 13 May 2001 - 12:49 PM

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Yvonne:
When I originally posted about this performance, I was hoping to find out how others felt about both acts, but since not even ONE person responded to that post..........., oh well

Well, here, in a better late than never response: I know just what you mean. The first act is a whole world, complete. I always stay for the second act, and I am always surprised that I am enjoying it so much after the transports of the first. But if there were only the first act, Midsummer would still be my favorite story ballet. (Don't throw vegetables at me, traditionalists!) The second would not be my favorite anything, just a very good dance.

#20 Yvonne


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Posted 14 May 2001 - 10:50 AM

Thanks Nanatchka! I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who felt that way about the first act! :) :)

#21 Alexandra


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Posted 14 May 2001 - 04:01 PM

I didn't like the first act at all the first time I saw it. I was with a friend, and both of us actually started laughing at the musical juxtaposition when the second act began. While this will never be either my favorite Balanchine or my favorite "Midsummer," I've come to like the second act, and see how it's related to the first. It's a kind of abstract apotheosis. All those mismatches have been put right. It's the glorification of love, and human love (as opposed to magic love or fairy love.) In the original cast (which I didn't see) it seems that Balanchine was also making a point, that two mismatched halves can make a whole. (Oberon and Tatania are short/tall; in the second act pas de deux, I believe it was Verdy and Ludlow, the opposite, and more usual, short woman/tall man). This doesn't necessarily make the act more likable, if one doesn't like it, but it isn't as tacked on to fill out an evening, as I had once thought.




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Posted 14 May 2001 - 07:30 PM

The only performance I have ever walked out on was Netherlands Danz Theater. It was very expensive too because we had wonderful tickets and hotel room for the night just for this performance. We had travelled over a 100 miles to see the company.

But, the music was miked and was so loud that my husband and I left - as did quite a number of other people in the audience. Sad to say.


[ 05-14-2001: Message edited by: ORZAK ]

#23 Jack Reed

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Posted 20 May 2001 - 05:38 PM

Here's a switch: I used to go in late. Ruth Page's "Nutcracker" used to be headed up for the first three or four perfomances each season by a couple of Balanchine's dancers, and after checking out the whole production, which made me groan inwardly, I would go back on later nights to go in at intermission, because I had discovered that when the curtain went up, Patricia McBride would be standing still at the back more effectively than anyone else had moved in Act I. For her pas de deux with Helgi Tomasson I could endure the rest of Page's Act II; and the one-ballet-a-year crowd in the huge Arie Crown Theatre at the McCormick Place convention center would bring the house down another year when Peter Martins uncorked a cavalier's variation (unseen in New York) on the huge stage, built for automobile shows. (His dancing-thistle partner was Violette Verdy.) To see even a little bit of dancing like this without having to get on a plane and rent a hotel room was a marvel.

But I have left after the first ballet even when I thought the rest of the program would be worthy. The instance that comes to mind was "Mozartiana", not with Kyra, but with Suzi; expecting that the "Fancy Free" scheduled to follow it would get a bang-up performance, I made my way to the coat room in the New York State Theatre and found a lot of my friends and some people we didn't know were there, too, none of us being in the mood for being banged up, and all of us feeling we had got more than our money's worth. "Now I could just go home?" Okay, but, maybe, "Now I can die." We felt we were already in heaven, and we wanted to stay there for as long as we could.

But I have felt that the last acts of Balanchine's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Harlequinade" don't go easily with the first acts, which are complete in themselves in that the situations in them are resolved. But I stay: The invention in them, and the execution of it, was better than you got most other places, and they achieved ballet's purpose, too, if less intensely.

What's ballet for? someone asked Mr. B. when the discussion had already established the costs of ballet in terms of physical rigor and financial expenditure. "It makes people happy." Who can argue with that?

We're all different, and what makes us happy will be different; our different experience - not only in the theatre, but reading and listening outside it - eventually tells us when going is likely to be a good time, when not. We might miss something, but I've found selectiveness has a benefit for me: To some extent, the less I see, the more I remember.

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