Saturday, 25 January 2014

For those who may be interested ........

Anna Pavlova as Giselle Source Wikipedia

Last week I saw and reviewed an exquisite production of Giselle at the Royal Opera House (see "Giselle - Royal Ballet 18 Jan 2014" 20 Jan 2018). On Monday 27 Jan 2914 cinema audiences around the world will get the chance to see the same principals in the same production streamed live from Covent Garden. Details of the transmission are to be found on the Royal Opera House's website. One of the cinema chains showing the broadcast in the UK will be Odeon and you check out your local flicks here.

Now a word of warning! Watching an HDTV transmission is not the same as being in the Royal Opera House for the reasons I set out in "¡Por favor! Don Quixote streamed to Huddersfield" 17 Oct 2013. As I said in that article an HDTV transmission bears about as much resemblance to the theatrical experience as hamburger does to fillet steak but it does have a number of advantages such as convenience, economy and the opportunity in some transmissions actually to get some input from those who have created the production. The Royal Ballet transmissions are nothing like as good as the Bolshoi's (see my reviews of Jewels 22 Jan 2014 and Spartacus 21 Oct 2013) let alone the Met's from New York which are by far the best; but I still recommend the Royal Ballet's highly and I hope to be at the Huddersfleld Odeon at 19:00 on Monday.

On the subject of Huddersfield I reviewed Fiona Noonan's ballet classes in "Team Hud Adult Ballet Class" 22 Jan 2014. Well Fiona also teaches ballercise which is a combination of pilates, ballet and aerobics in the same dance studio at Student Central on the university campus at 16:45 on Fridays. It was Fiona's ballercise classes at my local gym in Honley that brought me back into ballet. I started them when I was at the lowest possible ebb a few weeks after losing my spouse to motor neurone disease and 6 months after some life changing surgery of my own. I am not exaggerating in saying that they were the start of a new lease of life for me. If you do ballet or even if you don't but want to have a lot of fun with some great kids then check out this class. Don't be put off by the first 5 letters in ballercise. No experience is necessary.

Finally I was told by a lady on BalletcoForum that I had "an interesting mindset" which I interpreted as a gentle reprimand for my remark:
"This class was just what I needed. My confidence had taken a knock a week or two ago when I fell flat on my face trying to do posés pirouettes that I had not really mastered and I was starting to ask myself whether at age 65 I wasn't getting a little bit too old for this ballet malarkey."
This lady is very, very keen and doubtless very, very good at ballet and she told me that falls are to be expected in ballet and the only thing to do is to get back onto one's feet and do the exercise again. She added that any teacher who counsels otherwise is not doing her job. Well as it happened I did get on my feet and I carried on even though I was quite shaken and I still have the grazes, scratches and bruises. I learned that lesson the better part of a century ago when learning to ride a bike and I don't need a ballet teacher to repeat that lesson now.

However, I also got a real bollocking for taking unnecessary risks from many of those who know me best and have my best interests at heart who pointed out that I am a barrister and not a ballet dancer and I am very lucky to do the job I do. They are also right. Even if I had started to study ballet at the right age and even if I had the talent to make a career on the stage I would still have chosen the law over ballet. I am so fortunate never to have to retire from a job I love. I also love ballet as a recreation both as a theatre goer and as an over mature student but it is only a recreation and I have to keep a sense of proportion.

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