Friday, February 22, 2008

Date Night

Wednesday night I took myself out on a date, which I try to do a few times a year. It is basically a time for me to check in with myself, reignite my independent spirit and get out and do something fun to recharge my batteries. In the past these outings have included dinner and a movie, musical performances, museum and lunch, etc. This time I went to the ballet. For those who know me or have been a reader for a while, know that I love ballet and spend a part of my life dancing and am now taking ballet class again as an adult which is TEN times harder than when I was a teen. Not because it is physically hard, it is mentally hard to try to go back to something that you used to do so effortlessly. My body doesn't move the way it used to and doesn't want to defy gravity as it once did (not to mention I am about 2 times the size as I used to be) my mind wants my body to do it though, and that is what is most important and helps me to keep going. So, back to my date. I left work at 4:45 PM in order to get to the free lecture that takes place on Wednesday's at the Herbst Theatre next door War Memorial Theatre where the ballet takes place. The Pointes of View lecture series is really cool, free to the public and the topic is in sync with what program the ballet is performing so this time the topic was Giselle (my all time favorite ballet). I have seen Giselle more times than I can count on my fingers and have read about it, seen movies about it and even memorized the movements with the music, but it was so cool to see two current principle dancers from SF Ballet and one former principle talk about their roles as Giselle and Myrtha. They showed video clips, slides and spoke about the difference in roles and also technique and what they do to prepare for the role. It was a real treat to be able to see that. The lecture ended at 7:10 PM and I then made my way over to the theatre next door to use the ladies room, eat my bagel and get ready for the ballet to begin. I was super excited because I checked the casting the day before and my good fortune was that my all time favorite, light as air, principle dancer Yuan Yuan Tan (above left) was playing Giselle, how lucky! I took my seat (which was fabulous, 6 rows from the front and in the center) and as soon as the lights went down I was transported to a dream world in the Renaissance times and was watching the innocent girl with the weak heart fall in love but then be deceived and fall to her death. I was completely memorized by Giselle and relished each movement as if I were enjoying cotton candy and its sweetness slowly melted away in my mouth. Before I knew it the first act was over. I walked outside during the intermission, got a breath of fresh air and got back to my seat for the second act. I was told by my current ballet instructor, the lovely and talented, Jadin, to watch the arms and elbows - that is my weak spot in the studio. My shoulder tend to ride up a little and I let my hands move too much. In the second act, Giselle comes back as a ghost and dances with the man who she loved but betrayed her. The leader of the dead girls who have also died of weak hearts is Myrtha. The role was played by a guest principle this year with the ballet, Sofiane Sylve (above right), who was wonderful. The Myrtha role demands a good technician and she did not disappoint. It was a wonderful night at the ballet. It was a great date but in the same breath, it was nice to come home and cuddle with Tim on the couch.

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