Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Odette and Odile

On Wed, 16th of Oct 2012, I saw my first every live ballet performance.
I had been planning to watch a ballet performance for sometime but unfortunately the best ballets had been sold out well in advance. Luckily on the Tue night, 15 Oct, I suddenly found out that a few tickets had become available for the matinee performance of Swan Lake performed by The Royal Ballet, at The Royal Opera House. I immediately bought the tickets, booked my bus for London, and the next morning was on my way. I got off from the bus at Victoria bus stop, and decided to walk to the Opera House, it was a 40 mins walk which felt like a mere 5 mins. I passed by Buckingham Palace, The Mall, Trafalgar Square, The National Portrait Gallery. Interestingly, contrary to what I had come to believe from watching Indian movies, I saw no pigeons in Trafalgar Square!
I reached The Royal Opera House and waited for the the performance theater doors to open. They opened at 1:30 pm, I took my front row center seat, and was delighted because I had a clear view of the orchestra and was as close to the stage as possible.
The lady sitting to my left was celebrating her 60th birthday and as a treat her friend had brought her there, earlier her friend had taken her to The Royal Ballet school and she had met with the young ballerinas in training.
The ballet started, and with every passing moment, each leap, each pirouette, I fell more and more in love with Swan Lake. It seemed to be the perfect coalescence of all I had seen on TV, the beautiful music I had heard, and the movie Black Swan that I had loved so much. The choreography was the one from the 1895 revival and the Tchaikovsky music was breathtaking.
During the final break, before the last act, I found out that the lady sitting to my right was actually from Karachi, Pakistan and was working for Hello magazine in London, we talked for a while and we both laughed at the amazing coincidence of two Pakistanis both having links to Karachi, sitting side by side, so randomly at a Swan Lake performance.
For days afterwards, I kept humming tunes from the ballet.

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