The Rite of Spring

Blog readers:

I am not often at a loss for words. I am now.

There is just no way to describe the awesome epicness of BalletMet and Columbus Symphony’s Rite of Spring. It is beyong adjectives. I was amazed, exhilarated, thrilled–I wanted to get up there and dance. James Kudelka’s choreography seems to me to be so close to what Nijinsky had done back in 1913 Paris. I’ve seen several of his works, and I think this is clearly his best effort yet.

Jean-Marie Zeitouni and the CSO were in top-notch, world-class form on all the pieces, but in Rite, they were glorious. Everything about it was perfect. The dancers, wearing dyed pointe shoes and mismatched costumes (that they pulled from the costume shop themselves) channeled the primitive, sometimes disturbing (as when the sacrifice occurs at the end) but always incredible emotions that permeate and pull this work forward to its conclusion. I have never had a more thrilling evening at the ballet, or the symphony.

If you live in Columbus, or anywhere near, you must come. Two more performances, one tomorrow evening and one Sunday matinee. DO. IT.

The performance also has Prelude to the Afternoon of the Faun (DeBussy), with choreography by Amedeo Amodio, and Rapsodie Espagnole (Ravel) with choreography by company dancer Jimmy Orrante. The costumes for this were fantastic, and the three men and three women who danced this piece brought the Spanish influences to life with their clear, crisp dancing and Spanish inspired costumes.

Going to the Theater: Performance Etiquette

Yes, the fall arts season has begun in Columbus. And that means, we’re going to the theater! How exciting! I hope that if you are either seeing a show of mine, or attending a show and sitting next to me, you are excited and well-prepared to enjoy the performance we are about to see. 

But alas, it seems so few of you are! People are running in as the curtain is dropping! They are talking when there is dancing! They are unwrapping candy during quiet moments! They are throwing their limbs every which way!

Let us gently correct these things, my friends. 

  1. Curtain time is not a “suggestion.” It is when the show will begin. Usually this is 7:30 or 8:00 for an evening show, and 2:00 for a matinee. So please do not arrive like the woman next to me did last night, with a huge coat, huge bag, bustling into her seat right as the announcements are being made, thereby causing general commotion everywhere around us. Plan to arrive early. 
  2. Also, if you arrive early you can read the program notes or synopsis of the plot, which means you will not be asking “What is happening?” in loud whispers to your neighbors (yes, the woman next to me last night did that.) 
  3. If you arrive late, obey the ushers, who will seat you at an appropriate pause in the performance. Please be quiet and quick when this happens and apologetic to the patrons you are disturbing. 
  4. Do not wear huge amounts of perfume. Some, yes. Massive clouds of it, no. 
  5. It’s coat season. Please do not flip, whip or otherwise toss your coat around as you may be accustomed to doing. You will hit people with it. 
  6. TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE! No pictures! No texting! No email checking! You can do this at intermission if you so desire. If you are a transplant doctor, then you may have it on, but on silent. Most theaters have emergency contact protocols. If you need to be contacted during the performance, please talk to the house manager and/or the usher: leave your seat number with them so you can be easily found it need be. 
  7. Theaters are comfortable; the directors, cast members, and stage crew want you to have a good time! This does not mean, however, that you are in your living room and can sprawl every which way! You have paid for one seat. And one seat only. If you would like MORE than one seat, please pay for it. Last night was the WORST example of this I have ever seen. The woman on my left was constantly bumping into me, thrusting her torso into my arm so she could see things on the stage, shoving her legs right on to mine, hogging the arm rest, and generally being a HUGE pain. I realize these seats are small-ish, but RESPECT THE PERSONAL SPACE OF OTHERS, PEOPLE! 
  8. At the Symphony last week, the man next to me actually sat DIAGONALLY and had his legs on mine during part of a piece! This is totally UNACCEPTABLE! 
  9. Also do this with your bag! Your bag cannot just go willy-nilly anywhere, or your coat! Please put your bag under your seat. And it would behoove you to have a lovely smaller evening bag so you are not carrying your Mary Poppins bag and risking injuring someone, or having no place for it!
  10. Sometimes theaters provide you with food and drink. No wrappers in the theater, please! No crinkling! And usually beverages sans lid are not allowed back in the theater.
  11. If you are with small children, make sure they are quiet, polite, and not kicking the seat in front of them. Make sure the show is appropriate for your child’s age, development, and maturity. 
  12. If you see that people are waiting to get by you for the bathroom, lobby, etc., gracefully get up and let them by! Do not make people climb all over you!
  13. Did I mention no talking? I’m going to mention it again. At the beginning of Act II last night, the woman on my left was blabbering to her companion for the first twenty seconds of the opening—which is a funeral sequence. I wanted to hit her! When the lights go down, the tongue stops. 
  14. Notes on clapping: At the symphony, you clap when the concertmaster (first violinist) comes out. You clap again when the maestro (conductor) appears. You DO NOT CLAP between movements of a piece! The movements are clearly delineated in the program and there is usually a pause between them. Do. Not. Clap. You clap at the end of the piece, which is usually pretty easy to figure out. 
  15. Applause for dance/theater: You may clap when a dancer does something awesome, like Odile’s 32 fouettes in Swan Lake, or the pas de deux in Don Quixote. This gives the dancers energy. You wouldn’t do this at an opera, when a singer hits a high note, for example. You would applaud post aria. When a solo piece or pas is finished, it is polite to clap. 
  16. DO NOT LEAVE BEFORE THE CURTAIN CALL! I know you may think you’re invisible, but you’re not. We on the stage can see you, and it really sucks to know that you don’t care enough to stay to the end and applaud what we just did for you. Even if you didn’t like it, be polite! We just worked really hard. The parking lot is not that crowded. If you are going to attend an event, you are staying for ALL of it. If there is a post-concert lecture, of course you need not attend. But you DO need to stay and clap. 

I love seeing people attend the theater. It makes me happy. But please, for the sake of everyone, be polite!

Dance excitement starts today!

So excited, because today BalletMet kicks off their new season with the Global Dance Stars Gala! This event features what it sounds like–dancers from companies all over the world to perform at the gorgeous Ohio Theater in a celebration of dance.

Northern Ballet of England’s “Cleopatra”

There will be dances I”ve never seen before, like some Balanchine (Agon!) and David Nixon’s new Cleopatra, which has music composed by Claude-Michel Schonberg (Yes, that Claude-Michele Schonberg, of Les Miz, Miss Saigon, Martin Guerre, etc.). Lots of Swan Lake, and all sorts of other goodies are in store. I am massively excited. New works for this year make me happy!

Report to come this evening. Before that I’m going to volunteer at the local health expo to get the word out about organ donation and to get more donors! 🙂


I have 100 followers!

Wow thanks guys!

I am more excited than the triplets in front of a plate of biscuits. 

Some of the things we talk about here: 

  • ballet
  • movies
  • Disney movies
  • Batman—as in, the Christian Bale Batman
  • Christian Bale in general. 🙂 
  • books
  • food
  • tea
  • television, especially DOWNTON ABBEY! 🙂 (Or as I call it, The Mary and Matthew Show) 
  • Jane Austen
  • Theater—mine and other people’s
  • Anything else that is awesome. 
  • Writing and grammar. 


Dance, dance, dance…

Missing ballet SO MUCH. Dance classes started again this month here in town, but I was in PA so I missed last week’s class. I miss ballet, I miss class, and I miss WATCHING ballet. 

On Monday, at least, I get to be back in class. Very excited about that. The discipline of ballet is so unlike anything else; it’s so courtly and refined. Where else do you end class with reverence? Nowhere, I think. And I love that no matter how crappy class may go, there is usually a redeeming point somewhere—the extension was better, the line was better, the combination you couldn’t get last week is less jumbled this week. Even the smallest improvement is a great step forward.

beckanne sisk.

I will miss seeing her every Thursday….merde next season Beckanne!