A Night on the Town

I've been told that the thing to do when you come to Russia is to see a ballet. I had never been to one before, so I jumped at the chance to go see "Swan Lake" by Pyotr Tchaikovsky with my friend when she suggested it. For some reason, my husband declined to join us in the adventure. HMMM...

We attended the ballet with a group from our Russian language school where we had a meeting explaining the plot prior to the start.

The theatre alone was amazing to see. The gold and ornamentation on the stairs and hallways was truly magnificent. The chandelier sparkled it's beauty as we climbed to the second floor. We felt like we were rubbing shoulders with the high society of St. Petersburg.

When the music commenced, the real magic began. The story of the ballet was revealed before our eyes without a word being spoken on the stage. The program gave a summary of the plot, so we knew what would happen in each scene, but I found it fascinating to watch it unfold.

The Dance of the Swans
I was mesmerized by the physical performance of the ballerina and two of the male dancers. The way their bodies fluttered around the stage and leaped to such heights was stirring.

I didn't realize that different characters would perform a dance to advance the plot, but at the end of that piece, the music would stop. The ballerinas would then bow and leave the stage before the plot would continue. It almost seemed like one long set of separate dances. This was done so that the main dancers didn't perform continuously.

Performing a Spanish dance

"Swan Lake" begins with the prince falling in love with a girl who is under a curse. During the daytime, she lives the life of a swan, but at night she turns back into a girl. The evil magician, who has put her under the curse, tries to lure the hero into falling in love with his niece. In the end, there is a battle between the prince and the evil magician.  Of course, the hero wins. He gets rid of the curse, marrying the beautiful woman of his dreams.

During Act II, the dancers performed national dances from several different countries in front of the prince and his mother. That was my favorite part. It brought variety to the production.

I enjoyed my evening at the ballet, but I know my hubby was better off staying home that night. This would not have been a hit for him. Too many jumps and twirls. Next on my list will be "The Nutcracker" which is only performed at Christmas time. We'll see if he goes to that one.


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