Saturday, March 28, 2009
A Night at the Theatre
Its rather seldom that I focus a blog on the happenings on my day to day life, figuring there's nothing really intriguing about the ongoings of a medical student. But nevertheless, I thought that I would dedicate this post, along with the pictures I took at recent visit by me and my friends to St.Petersburg's Mikhailovsky theatre, to watch the famed Swan Lake Ballet.
One of the things that one must do when in Russia, is to watch the Swan Lake Ballet, either in St.Petersburg (Russia's cultural capital), or Moscow.
Now there are only a select few theatres in the two cities that house the famed troupe which perform across Europe. And frankly, if you have had a chance to visit St.Petersburg, it would be just awful if you didn't see the ballet, for which it is so renowned for.
Frankly, its up to you so as to what part of Russian culture you would like to absorb. Being a bit of a geek myself, I usually prefer to haunt theatres and the famed Hermitage Museum.
Truth be told, I have never attended a ballet before, and its something that someone oughtn't watch on television, because the first thing one would do (including myself), would be to change the channel.
There is a certain magic to being present in person in the theatre, in the presence of a live orchestra, people around you dressed in their very best, and the atmosphere charged with anticipation.
My friend suggested I need to get something formal to wear since we would be sitting in the front row. And since the one thing I despise the most is shopping for clothes, I grudgingly mowed my way to the mall.
It seems I needed a suite, and frankly my knowledge in formal attire being abysmal, I was totally perplexed. Fortunately I swamped the responsibility of finding the right suite, to a salesgirl at the mall. (Its a good thing that women have such good taste).
We reached the theatre at 7.00pm and noticed that the place was getting jam packed with an assortment of Americans, British and Russians.
We managed to find our seats just in the nick of time though.
The Ballet was composed of three acts and four scenes,basically revolving around the story of how a Prince Siegfried, falls in love with a maiden who for the remainder of the day is transformed into a swan by an evil sorcerer. The sorcerer has thus turned numerous girls into swans. Only true love and fidelity can break the spell and free the swan princess and her companions.
However the prince is deceived into loving a maiden who resembles the swan princess, and unto whom vows eternal love and fidelity.
As a consequence the prince is full of remorse since he could not save the swan princess. Only by sacrificing his life, can he prove his love to the swan princess and break the evil spell.
In the end both the prince and the swan princess give up their lives in the 'Swan Lake', and thus their love overcomes death itself.
Disney once made an animation called the Swan Princess based on the ballet.
Either ways it was a wonderful experience. The fluidity and the agility of the dancers was amazing. And I had no idea where the three hours went.
I would be booking tickets to see the ballet yet again next month as well as a visit to an Italian Opera.
If ever you have an opportunity to visit Petersburg or Moscow, make it a point to visit the Ballet. It will certainly be worth your while.
PS: Do carry some food of your own, because the prices at the "snack counter" are atrocious.