This week, I went out of my comfort zone for you, people. I wore my best evening dress to see Paquita, from Le Ballet de l'Opéra National de Paris, as part of the 2014-2015 season of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Here is my review.
Being a man, I must admit that going to the ballet is not part of my regular friday night habits. Even though I’m not a “being with the guys” kind of guy, opera, dance and… ballet, are not part of my field of interest. Which is not necessarily a bad thing you know, it’s all a matter of taste. But since I am an open-minded person (a free ticket is a good incentive to be open-minded), I went out of my comfort zone and assisted to a premiere : Pierre-Luc at the ballet.
My first reflex was to judge other people’s clothings. Some of them really had style and I felt at that time a bit underdressed. Others came wearing jeans (we can judge these ones). Anyway, I sat in my little hushed seat, with the program of the evening in hand. I could have looked at it, to know the story and the historical context before the show, but I didn’t. I was rather looking for a surprise effect. The Conductor came in and the music started. The curtain went up.
This sound. Few days have passed since then and when I close my eyes, I am still hearing it.
The sound of the little cushion under the ballet shoes, tapping wildly on the ground.
To the music of this sound, multiple dancers paraded through the first scene of Act 1. To a point I had some difficulties to understand the story. Despite the impeccable choregraphy and unbelievable costumes, I remember at this moment I had the feeling I would have a hard time. On the other hand, the second scene, more theatrical and with only the main characters on stage, seduced me. Act 2 was a huge ball, including a beautiful waltz between the two central performers. At that precise moment, I understood all the emotion that can originate from a ballet. The scene was gracious, without any mistake. A perfect harmony between two person.
Plus : The quality of the show, the sound, the costumes and the performers.
Minus : The crowd, which was constituted of people yelling “bravo!” and applauding every 5 minutes, like if they were at their 14 year old godchild first piano concert. Let’s be professional, come on!
So, you want to know what I thought of my first ballet? Am I a new fan of ballet? No. Did I have a nice time? I had a wonderful time. But mostly, after 2 hours and 5 minutes of show, I came back home with a different opinion of ballet…
… and I read the program ;)
“In the Spanish province of Saragossa, under the occupation of Napoleon’s armies, Paquita, a young little girl form a noble family, abducted by gypsies in her childhood, saves Lucien d’Hervilly, a dashing young French officer from a dastardly plot. After a variety of melodramatic turns, the story reaches its dénouement at a ball given by the Governor, Don Lopez de Mendosa. The guilty parties are arrested and Paquita, having discovered the secret of her birth, is free to marry her handsome officer.” (Grands Ballets Canadiens) Paquita is a classical ballet recreated in 2001 by Pierre Lacotte for Le Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris.
Don’t miss the next shows of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens
The Nutcracker (Classical, December 2014)
The Little Prince (Modern, March 2015)
Anna Karenina (Russian neoclassical, April 2015)
Death and the Maiden (Modern, May 2015)