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Hello from the Czech Republic


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Hi there. I am a midtier balletphile who is very excited to have found this site. I intend to see a lot of ballet this year and am eager to benefit from the wisdom of this forum!

As a student, my past is a bit checkered: I studied off and on starting at the age of 7 and continuing through the current day, though always with much-too-long breaks. So I have never been on pointe and am not advanced (at all...), but especially in the past few years I have really enjoyed it (especially at the wonderful Dance Complex in Cambridge, Mass -- sorry, just a little plug!). Last year, my work brought me from Boston to the Czech Republic and I have not found a class taught in English here, so I'm currently relegated to solitary barre exercises in my apartment. I realize that's probably bad for a number of reasons, but it's better than nothing.

As a balletgoer, prior to my relocation, I hadn't seen much outside the Boston Ballet and a few other local companies. Now I am really broadening my horizons. Right after arriving here, I saw an amazing Odette/Odile in Prague, along with some other works in Vienna and Budapest that I wasn't as crazy about. In a few weeks, I'm heading off to see Olga Esina as Aurora, and in the summer, I'm hoping to see the Paris Opera Ballet perform The Crystal Palace. I will also visit Russia later this year.

I'm not fluent in the language of ballet criticism, so I'm eager to begin soaking up some knowledge so I can report back properly!


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Hi, sasark, and welcome to BalletAlert! :flowers:

Lucky you, to have been able to see Erica Cornejo regularly. She was a favorite of mine at ABT, and I miss her.

As you'll see as you browse the forums, there is no specific "language of ballet criticism," so don't feel intimidated. We're eager to hear what you see. Do you remember the leads in the Prague Swan Lake? Curious. :)

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Welcome, Sasha, and in case you haven't realized it yet, the Paris Opera Ballet's "Crystal Palace" is Symphony in C by another (its first) name. Lucky you to be so well located to see so much ballet. The company in Dresden, which is not far from Prague, also has a good reputation.

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You don't say which city you are living in, but please don't overlook the Slovak National Ballet in Bratislava:


It's shockingly cheap (4-20 Euros), thanks to state subsidies, with a nice mix of classics and contemporary Slovak-folk-tale based repertory. One hour from Brno in the south, 4 hours from Prague by high-speed train. Reasonable hotels nearby in Old Town.

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Thanks so much everyone for the welcome!

carbro, to answer your Swan Lake question, the male lead in the was someone named Ulvi Azizov. I actually did not care for his performance so much. I don't recall having any technical complaints, but I remember thinking his interpretation was a bit hammy.

The ballerina, though -- wow! Her name is Alina Nanu. I have not seen her discussed on this board (or anywhere much), so maybe she's not a big ballet star, but I left the theater feeling like I'd just seen something really special. Everything she did was just absolutely gorgeous. And more than that, she told a story. I'm referring to her Odette with those comments, but her Odile was also exhilarating. I can't recall ever having left a ballet and thinking that one dancer stood out so much from everyone else.

kbarber, thanks for the Dresden tip!

California, I live in Brno. I looked into going in Bratislava last year, but I got frustrated with their web site. It sounds like it might be worth another try, though. Maybe next time I'll just have one of my Slovak colleagues call them for me. smile.png


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