I was at the Met yesterday afternoon, but to see the American Ballet Theatre perform Swan Lake rather than hear an opera. (There are regie versions of ballet, right? RIGHT??) My only problem with Tchaikovsky’s music is that – well, you know the ‘evil sorcerer’ theme, that recurs every so often, and then at the end, when the magician is vanquished, you get it again in a major key instead? Well, when I was a kid, and my brother and I would pester my (music-loving) mom for fish and chips for dinner instead of whatever it was we were actually having, she would poke fun at us, singing “why can’t we have fish and chips tonight, why can’t we have what we want?” to that very tune. So whenever I hear it I think about dinner. Specifically, fried food.
I know next to nothing about dance, and it’s an odd experience to open a program and read who the performers are and recognize precisely zero of the names (other than Tchaikovsky). It reminded me of when I was in L.A. last month and the nice older couple who are invariably seated next to me at these things were paging through the program and one of them said “I don’t know who any of these people are!” I know that feeling. It’s a little disorienting. But despite my abysmal ignorance of ballet – like many other middle class little girls, I had a few years of lessons as a small child, but that’s all – I still had a good time. I’m really curious now to watch a few different versions of different performers performing the same choreography. There must be interpretive distinctions from dancer to dancer, but I have no idea what those would even look like.
Also, I noticed for the first time that there are ash-trays in some of the women’s bathroom stalls at the Met. At least I think they’re ash trays. It’s like a little time warp to 1975.
Finally, gratuitous Brooklyn bridge, just for the hell of it: