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Amy Reusch

Opening Night

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My parents just returned from a visit to France, and told me that one of their hosts treated them to a performance of the ballet at the Paris Opera, opening night as it turns out. My parents enjoy the ballet, and have been to quite a few in this country, but apparently weren't aware of the tradition of the defile at the Opera. My mother described a "parade" starting with the youngest dancers, etc... and went on to say they were really beginning to wonder what sort of a piece this was going to be with all these dancers! For instance, how were they going to fit all those dancers in? They were so disappointed when the dancing part never came!

This was followed by what sounded like a very long post modern exploration of a dancer's life in classical ballets such as Swan Lake. The couple next to them in their 1st balcony box was so disgusted by it that when the lights came up afterward they grabbed their coats and left. So my parents thought it was all over and that it had been rather a strange program, but the theater was a jewelbox.. and they picked up all their coats, etc. and prepared to leave as well. Luckily their host, who had seats elsewhere in the house, caught them in the lobby and explained it was only intermission, so they stayed and enjoyed the second half... with Balanchine's Sonatine, Robbins' Glass Pieces and something by Llander ... was it Etudes?

Anyway, thought you all might enjoy an alternative viewpoint.

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amy, the program your parents saw was the first night of the "Lander, Bel, Robbins" program mentioned in that topic:


What a pity that nobody had explained to your parents the way the Défilé works, and also how the evening was built. Fortunately their friends prevented them from leaving too early, as they'd have missed the two most substantial works of the evening !

I understand that some people were unfuriated by Jérôme Bel's work (though it seems to have been well received on most evenings) as it is rather ill-suited, to my opinion, to the large stage of the Paris Opera. And surely it must have been a bore for your parents if they don't understand French.

What do they think of the rest of the program ? And of the Palais Garnier itself ?

As this thread is a bit redundant with the other one, I'm going to close it- please reply in the other thread...

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