Sunday, 1 October 2006

Ballet - Raymonda

Last night I went to my first ballet of the year. This is the first year in about 20 (probably more) that I have not subscribed to the season. I first started attending when I was a schoolgirl and my grandmother took all six grandaughters on a Saturday afternoon. Since then, I have had a subscription with friends . . . until this year when we decided we were all just a bit jaded from the experience. When you start to think of attending as a chore, you have to look at what you're doing!

Anyway, two of us decided to attend Raymonda, which neither of us had seen before. I think it was a new production. We went on a Saturday night (instead of Monday at 6:30 after work) and had dinner before and dessert afterwards. We made a night of it. We had fun!

The ballet itself was pretty good. It seemed loosely based on the story of Grace Kelly and Prince Ranier, with Raymonda being a 1950s Hollywood star about to marry (and who in fact does marry) a 'European Prince'. The story was basic, with the tension arising from Raymonda's insecurities that she wasn't good enough for him, and that his family shunned her, all of which manifested in a rather long dream sequence that took up about half the ballet. Moreover, the final act was one of those I detest: no story line at all because it's a wedding reception and you just have to watch them dance and dance and dance . . . and to cap it off the costumes for the final act were weird! The men (including the hero) were wearing outfits that looked like PJs. Terrible!

But the dancing was lovely and the choreography good and most of the costumes were good too. (I don't know what happened in the final act: designer in training?) In all, we both enjoyed it and I was really pleased to have gone.

Cast was Lisa Bolte as Raymonda and Robert Curran as the prince.

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