On the 14th of October, I spent a very enjoyable evening at the ballet. It really was about as classical as classical ballet can get - Sleeping Beauty, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky! This performance was one of three of Tchaikovsky’s ballets performed at the Wyvern – the other two are just as famous, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky’s ballets are some of the most popular ballets in the world and they are performed many times over, by ballet companies on every continent. I can see why!
The company dancing this performance were from Russia and I noticed that there were a number of different nationalities represented in the company.
The cast was small but I think they were brilliant. The chemistry between the dancers was obvious, and I felt there was a real connection between the audience and the dancers too. It was disappointing to notice that the audience was quite small.
Tchaikovsky’s music is so beautiful and moving- the classical dance steps and routines of the dancers, as well as the costumes all tied together so magically to create a really obvious fairy-tale vibe. The really brightly coloured costumes, with so much beautiful detail showing on every one of them added to the overall beauty on stage.
One thing I couldn’t help noticing was the difference between the modern ballet performance I had seen earlier in the year (Ballet Boys) and this performance of very traditional, classical ballet.
The music in both presentations played a really important part in the story-telling but I felt more drawn in to the story with the classical music. It was like reading a chapter book. One scene led smoothy into another. I was very aware of the emotional pull with the music and movement of the modern dance. I concluded that, with the modern ballet, the emotion was implied by the gestures and movement of the dancers but with the classical, it was more obvious. I knew when I was feeling happy, sad, laughing or holding my breath by the very obvious, almost singular gestures of the dancers. I found my emotional responses were quicker with the classical because I could tell more easily what was happening. Having said all that, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience with the modern ballet dancers drawing me along with them on a more intense emotional journey.
The small cast covered every part of the story so well but I did wonder if a larger cast might have added to the grandeur of the setting and I think the ending was rushed a bit. Maybe if more dancers had contributed to the lovely, emotion-filled ending, I think that would have been the perfect finale for me.
I loved this performance, a lot! In fact, I went home and booked an evening out in December, with my family, to see Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’ in London.