1.12.2009

"Bolshoit"

About a week ago, the Consulate got word that the Navoi Bolshoi Ballet was coming to Chennai for a Gala Medley Concert. They were putting on two performances... Don Quixote and a Medley of Classics, including Swan Lake, Spartacus, and The Nutcracker.

We expressed an interest for the Sunday afternoon Medley performance, and were serendipitously awarded free tickets for the ground floor, six rows up from the stage.

Hailing from Uzbekistan, The Navoi Bolshoi Ballet is a self proclaimed "leading centre of performing arts in Central Asia, where many famous conductors and musicians, artistes and singers have and still perform. The troupe in Chennai consisted of 50 ballet dancers and a 50 member philharmonic orchestra. It was touted as a show of such magnitude and grandeur that has not been seen in India for the last 40 years."

The ballet was held in The Music Academy Madras, a theater a mere kilometer from our house. We arrived fifteen minutes to the start time expecting to wade through the throngs of people, only to find that we were the only ones seated in our row. While we're no ballet aficionados, it was obvious that these Uzbek dancers needed a little more practice. Although the costumes were very nice, the dancing was not in sync, and there were more than a couple of stumbles... like missed staged directions, clumsy group dances, and clearly not a large enough stage to hold all the dancers. There was also a song at the end where the music played to an empty stage.

Now this would not be India without the cacophony of various cell phone rings, talking, and people getting up and walking around in mid-number. Apparently flash photography is NOT prohibited, and at times the stage looked more like an Obama press conference than a ballet. At the beginning of the second act, we had the luxury of all 100 of the ceiling and wall fans starting, each with their own individual squeak. Matt likened it to being under the spinning blades of a Black Hawk helicopter. Amazingly, none of the above noise, the music, or meager clapping stopped Sheridan from passing out and snoring through most second act or Matt from turning around and screaming at the teeny boppers behind him for their rowdy behavior.

However, our cynicism and frustration were washed away when Riley exclaimed that she absolutely loved it and wanted to go again the next day.

"Ummmmm... maybe in another 40 years."


6 comments:

Kelly said...

I LOVE the title!! Emmy did the same thing as Riley when her Grandma & Grandpa took her to the Shiner's Circus (it ain't Ringling...). Emmy not knowing the difference absolutely loved it!

Mom24 said...

That's so funny! What an experience. At least it was free. :)

American in Norway said...

Sorry it sucked.. but at least it was an experience not everyday you can see a ballet from UZBAKASTAN..(sorry, whereever they came from ....)
Glad you made it home...

Shannon said...

Clever post title ;)


Mom24 voiced my thoughts exactly... at least it was free!

Simple Answer said...

It's too bad we never get those hours of our lives back.

Donna said...

Fabulous title; funny post. I picture the ceiling fans all swinging in time to the music... even if the dancers weren't.

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