Today it was Swan Lake at the ballet. I had the feeling early on there were a lot of people there who do not usually go to the ballet. There were quite a few little girls in party dresses and fancy shoes. One wore gold flip flop things which somehow seemed to work for her, but that us not si unusual for the story ballets.
I wondered why there were so many empty seats, then found out this crowd was very slow to come in and sit down. They were still coming in as the lights went down, muttering, squinting at seat numbers, obviously new to all this. It happened at intermission as well, in spite of the five minute call. Why are they letting them in? I wondered, and gave my best scowl, but it was probably lost on them in the dimness.
Then a cell phone went off as Act 2 was getting underway. This time I urned around and frowned. My neigubour muttered ominously.
After that, it occurred to me they might need a few pointers about what was good ng on onstage. For example: How do you tell who is the Prince?
1- He us not onstage when the curtain goes up. He needs to make a grand entrance.
2- He’s the only guy wearing white tights.
3- He never recognizes his one true love if she changes her costume or loses her shoe.
4- True love does not end well. (For future reference, this is true of opera as well.)
Maybe that will help. However I would also recommend reading the program notes.
Oh, how was ballet, you ask? Well, I still long for the Nureyev version, stag and all, but this one (Kudelka) will do nicely. Beautiful colorful costumes and lovely effects n the storm. However, poor Odile fell at the end of her big series of pirouettes in Act three. Everyone knew that is not supposed to happen. Poor thing.