February 20th, 2016


Our Parking Adventure (also there was dancing)

Last night, my friend had ballet tickets for herself, suzanne, and me. The tickets had come with a parking pass for the garage across the street, so we didn't anticipate any trouble. But when we got there, the entrance we were at was closed for construction, so once this had been communicated to the cars that had pulled in behind us, we all gradually made our way back out and went around to the other entrance, where we joined a long line of waiting vehicles and eventually learned that our parking pass would do us no good because all the available spaces in the garage were full, and they hadn't issued this parking pass in the first place and they were very unhappy with whoever had, because there obviously weren't enough spaces because of the construction, and the nearest other parking the attendant knew of was ::vague wave:: over there.

So we went over there, where we paid $25 for parking (fortunately, one of us had cash), and hurried along to the theater. At this point we were about ten minutes past the start time. "I've never been late to live theater before!" I said. "I wonder what they do?" We were expecting to need to wait in the lobby for a bit, and then perhaps sneak in at intermission. But in fact enough people had been having this exact same problem that they had delayed the start of the show just long enough for us to zip in and find our seats before the house lights went down and the curtain went up. Hurrah!

And it was a lovely show. It started with a traditional pas de deux called "Diana and Acteon" which was very pretty and featured a lot of athletic capering about in the woodland and miming firing arrows, but inexplicably failed to contain any bathing, turning into a deer, or being torn to pieces by dogs. So I'm not sure what it had to do with the title.

The second and third pieces were interesting modern ensemble ballets with complicated lighting effects.

The last piece wins the coveted Creepiest Dance Award. It started before the intermission was properly over -- while the audience was still filing back in, the house lights were up, and the curtain was down, this fellow in a suit came moseying out on stage. "Perhaps this next one needs some explanation," we thought. "Or perhaps they're going to announce some kind of refund of the parking passes?" The guy continued to stand in front of the curtain, then wandered over to hide in the shadows at the corner of the stage, then eased on back out to the middle and started sort of bopping a little bit. House lights were still up, audience still coming back from intermission. We started speculating that he was lost. Eventually they put the curtain up, but left the house lights on and the audience kept chatting because, hey, house lights are up, but it gradually became apparent that Suit Guy was in fact the first dancer of the last piece.

Then about sixteen more dancers in suits joined him on stage. There were folding chairs, and chanting, and flinging of clothes on stage, and it all got more and more ominous and repetitive. Then there was a quiet bit with six dancers standing entirely still in their underwear while a metronome or something ticked creepily. Then later the suited dancers came out into the audience and collected audience members and took them back up on stage and had a loud techno rave with them and it was generally very interesting but not at all what I had been expecting from a night at the ballet.
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