Monday, February 3, 2014

[Ballet] The Marienski Swan Lake at the Kennedy Center

This was, to put it bluntly, spectacularly excellent.  We went because Julia wanted to go, but I'm glad we did.  The plot of the Ballet is well known, so I'm not really going to expound on it here much but I will say that being married to a ballet fan makes one see and learn interesting things about it.   For example, there are four acts written by two guys.  In Russia, they often walk out of the middle of the show because they don't like the second guy.  Julia Correction:  Julia thinks it is because they need to wash their hair or something and the first part is the most famous.

It's interesting because it seems a bit like the movies Superman and Superman II are welded together. You can see the subtle differences in the moves and music but they are still very good stories and there were folks cheering just as much for the final two acts as the first two.

The ending is kind of Schrodinger in that different companies have happy vs sad endings.  The Marienski ending is happy and frankly makes sense. I mean, magical doppelganger sex is hardly a reason to gack yourself.    The story is really a romance as it seems most ballets are, including this one as the villain is defeated by static.

These artists are...amazing.   Their precision is fundamentally primal, but the thing that impresses me is that these are the penultimate artists as athletes and athletes as artists.  I find it highly ironic that the Superbowl took place that day, and their performance was...not as good as the ballet.  By an order of Magnitude.

The two standouts to me were the Jester and the Swan Princess (V1 and V2).   They justifiably earned the most applause (again and again and again and again) and their acting along with their dancing was neat.  Having said that even the window dressing dancers were at the top of their form, and while they didn't necessarily get as much of a chance to shine  they were still awesome to behold.

The Kennedy Center is also impressive.  There are lots of theaters there and the architecture is also cool.  No box seats.  This is the national theater of a Republic.  Definitely feel like we got our money's worth.

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