Hanna and I went to see our first official ballet performance last Friday (2/1/08) at the Kennedy Center. The American Ballet Theatre performer The Sleeping Beauty. The music was excellent, the staging and costumes elaborate, lush, and vibrant. Being our first ballet attendance, I wasn't truly sure what to expect. I'd worked modern dance performances while doing tech in college, but this was completely different. For one thing, the point shoes that the women wore made a clacking sound on the floor when they walked around. I was in awe of the amazingly vibrant colors in the scenery and costumes. That alone made it worth attending.
In the end, we both kept thinking that we wished someone would sign or recite a line. We also found the pattern of performing interesting. For example, the male and female leads in the final act performed an amazing duet, and then walked off stage. Then the male lead came out and danced a solo, walking off stage at the end. Then the female lead did the same. Then they both came out and did what I can only describe as a dueling leads type performance, walking off at the end. This general pattern seemed to hold up throughout the performance. We wondered if there really needed to be so many sets in each act. :)
I will say that it was quite an amazing sight to see. The female lead (Irina Dvorovenko) was amazing, holding point for extended periods of time while being twirled in different ways. There was only one misstep in the performance, and not by any of the leads. The female in the bluebird pair turned her ankle on a jump and noticeably favored it for the rest of their set. I audibly said "uh oh" somewhat under my breath when it happened, because I could immediately see the injury sustained. This error in oral expulsion earned me a nasty glance from an old lady up front. I found it interesting that the old lady didn't glare at the annoying person who kept sneezing to her left. Oh, well. :)