The answer is a lot. Yesterday I took the day off work, collected the children from school at midday and went off to see the Bolshoi rehearse Giselle at the Emirates Palace Hotel. It was wonderful. The director was shouting instructions in Russian and all the dancers were wearing their cool training kit. The quality of dancing was astounding. Olivia and Leo loved it, sadly Bea declared that ballet is her “worst thing” and it was “the worst day of her life”.
All that changed for Bea when we got to the Cultural Foundation for a production of Angelina Ballerina by the English National Ballet. The dancers were dressed as mice, which must make dancing very tricky, and it was very sweet if you are keen on dancing mice. I was pleased to hear Olivia say to a friend that it wasn’t a patch on Giselle, and not surprised when Bea declared the ballet dancers “better than the Bolshoi”. They will be pleased.
Fast forward to the evening and Olivia and I are all dressed up, waiting for the actual performance of Giselle to begin. she was the most charming date; kept telling me how happy she was and how beautiful I am. We were both entranced by the first act but sadly by the second she had started to flag. She saw the glorious entrance of the corps de ballet and then crashed out. I followed soon after. It was brilliant and I loved it but I just could not stay awake. I am wondering if I can sneak in this evening just to see the second act.
I guess even for the most ardent balletomane there is only so much you can take in during one day….
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2009
How wonderful to see the Bolshoi rehearsing followed by the evening performance (even 1 act). We lived in Moscow for three years and I can vividly remember our weekly Bolshoi fix (opera or ballet). I studied at the Moscow Conservatory and managed to obtain the best tickets to any performance).
The dancers you saw were the creme de la creme. The best performers are sent abroad and the second best remain at home, entertaining the locals. Unless, it’s a premier of a new opera or ballet. Enjoy the quality!
I’m with Bea