From The Rite of Spring – Kenneth Macmillan [photo]
I had a fabulous time at the ballet last night- It was most excellent.
The Opera House was very beautiful inside- A nice mix of the old gold and red velvet auditorium and the white walls and wide panes of glass of the extension. The audience were a good mix of posh, normal, young and old and I didn’t feel like too much of a freak. My seat was right in the front row and so I could peer down into the pit and see the musicians pottering about below.
The first of the three works was Chroma by Wayne McGregor- Boy was that an interesting watch. White minimal set, dancers dressed in neutral shorts and vests, skin exposed without tights. Their skin and their bodies was what shocked – really – they were close to me and I could see their pale mottled skin, where it flushed rosy pink from the pressure of their clothes, where it blanched from the pressure of a lift. It was not arcing, graceful dance but dance of broken up gestures, acrobatic throws, writhing and twisting- Frantic and athletic. Amazingly performed by dancers of whom I have no idea how they remember all the minute moves.
First interval and I shelled out £11.50 for a glass of rose champagne- Yeah, I know, I ain’t got no klass… I drank, I people watched, I walked out onto the balcony, sorry, “loggia” and stared down at the deserted Piazza below. I know it’s not like ballet and opera are for the gentry but I still worried about what to wear etc. I didn’t however feel like my presence was inappropriate and for whatever reason I drew glances as I wandered- Might have been the hair, the cherry red tights or the eyeliner… :D
Second was the Kenneth Macmillan Different Drummer– Again a bit strange but story-based when compared to Chroma. The lead had to be a soldier losing his grip on sanity due to the horrors of war and from being experimented upon by a sadistic doctor; he ends up stabbing his wife and then drowns himself in a bath. Nice. Anyway, the lead was amazing- He was totally anguished, tearing at himself, throwing himself around the stage, hyperventilating- Which was again a revelation- The sounds I heard. Dancers struggling to breathe with the effort expended, the swish of costumes on floor, grunts of exertion as they threw themselves and others about.
Interval two and I hit some chocolate ice cream. Mmmm.
Last was Macmillan’s Rite of Spring– I can only imagine what this must have been like to view in the 60’s when his version was first performed. All the dancers were dressed in unitards covered in bright hand prints with the men wearing white face paint and bald caps with the women wearing white jagged wigs with black-tipped raffia locks.
Lots of performers on stage, lots of jazz hands (hee) and stomping and implied death and violence. The lead seemed like she was going to keel over towards the end; she had to perform a solo for five minutes or so and with all the kicking, running and waving I thought she might expire. The vibrancy of the moves certainly faded by the end- The jumps weren’t as high, the arms less straight. She got a bunch of flowers at the end though; I don’t know how they keep such energy night after night.
I had such a lovely time but I was certainly glad to get back home and under the duvet- Fuck me it was cold last night. Brr. My back is sore today but I can say I’m doing pretty well so far on one of my Resolutions hooray!