@ London Coliseum: 8th-14th January 2020
Why did I ever stop ballet?
I cannot put into words the emotions the performance made me feel. The story was emotional, a love story of course, a tale of two gentlemen fighting for their ladies who are being sold to the Sultan. It was fun, it was dramatic, it was vibrant. Though, it was not the story that touched me, it was the skill. I was holding in tears, i’m not sure what they were tears of, they weren’t of joy, they weren’t of sadness. Perhaps admiration. Admiration of the practice and time necessary to perfect these skills. Years and years of dedication, and years and years of sacrifice.
I suddenly felt like a little girl again, wishing to take ballet lessons so I could “be like them when I grow up”, whilst I sat in awe of every movement.
A nervous silence from the crowd, as dancers leap metres across the stage, legs in the splits, landing in an arabesque. A perfect silence from feet, as they touch down so delicately with precision and operation. Mass disbelief whilst witnessing the dancers spring so high in the air, continuously, as though they could go all day. Uncoordinated applause from the crowd in response to the coordination between each dancer, and the orchestra. It was emotionally stirring to watch.
Speaking of the orchestra, they were euphonious. They are in fact the most critical component of a functioning performance. There is nothing like the muffled sound of the orchestra tuning up prior to the show. And, the music they play, WOW. As a musician myself I can tell you first hand the level of practice required, and even more so in an orchestra where timing is key or the entire piece could fall apart at one wrongly timed note.
La Corsaire was actually quite male dominated, which is unusual for a ballet. In a lot of performances I have seen, I find the men to be more of a supporting act, there for lifting the women. I have to say, the male dancers stole the show a little bit. One in particular that really amazed me, Daniel McCormick, seemed to be new to the scene according to the programme, in other words, it seemed this was one of his first shows. I have never seen someone leap so high with so much vigour, he was astonishing.
Another thing which was nice to see was a lot of diversity in the cast. Unfortunately and wrongfully, Ballet through the years has been something of a more privileged sport. I have been going to the ballet since I was a young girl, and over the years as times changes and progress, casts are becoming increasingly diverse. Its lovely to see, and incredibly important too.
The ballet has a special place in my heart, I went a lot as a young girl with my granny. I haven’t seen this ballet before, and for some reason, I had low expectations. But was I wrong… It was phenomenal. I would highly recommend it.
Unfortunately, the ballet has finished. It is a very famous ballet, so I expect it will be on again soon.