When Sarah of the beautiful blog, Desirous of Everything, contacted me a few weeks ago asking if I knew about the 18/29 Club with the American Ballet Theater I was intrigued, curious and envious! This brilliant blogger is a New Yorker, ballet aficionado and my new best friend as her review of ABT's recent production of Don Q makes me feel like I was right there in the action! Check it out:
We all know that there is NO TALKING in ballet right? But if there was talking in Don Quixote this is what it would be: "You thought that was amazing? You ain't seen nothing yet. Dude, check this out!" Because that is what this ballet is like. And after having seen it twice now, I think I've decided that it is my favorite ballet ever.
On Monday, May 23, I saw Don Quixote at the Met performed by the American Ballet Theater. I bought my tickets via their 18/29 Club and was in the fifth row! And paid $30 for the tickets! I know, it's amazing. If you live in NYC- DO THIS. We were surrounded by old people, because young people can not afford those tickets, but no matter, the seats were amazing. This was my view:
And no matter how many times I've been to the Met, I always find myself pausing and looking around in awe. The chandeliers, the height of the balcony, the smell of the place, the little cone shaped paper cups by the water fountain, it all feels so special and comforting at the same time, like it's the only place in the world that I want to be.
But then a man comes by playing on a little xylophone, telling you to sit down now, and the lights dim and suddenly your eyes are glued to the stage. Don Quixote gets right into it starting with a lively town square scene where everyone just wants to impress each other and the audience. Kitri, the star ballerina played by Alini Cojocaru (who I couldn't help yelling "I love you!" to at the very end when everyone jumped out of their seats) basically leaped and turned and balanced and arabesque-ed and developpe-ed for two and a half hours non stop. Whenever she was on stage, I had a huge grin on my face and during her and Basilio's (her love interest played by Jose Manuel Carreno) pas de deux, I literally had heart palpitations of some sort. Seriously I was so in awe of their talent.
Also, a good ballet is never complete without a dream sequence featuring a ton of ballerinas in tutus, in a forest, all lead by a mischievous little Nymph. So beautiful.
People could not get enough of this performance and were constantly bursting into applause and cheers during moments when you would think to yourself "wait, she is still turning?" or "wait, she is still balancing in that position with her leg up really, really high?" or "Wait he is only holding her with one hand and then no hands?!?! It's all too much, I must burst into applause!"
I went to the ballet with my friend who grew up in Austria and said that this bursting into applause thing is a very American way of doing things. Europeans hold it all in and only clap politely at the end. While he was surprised by this, and thought that it interrupted the flow of the dancing a little bit, I did not care. I mean, I couldn't have held it in if I'd wanted to. I'm sure I would make a fool of myself in Vienna, but here in New York, under the glistening crystal chandeliers of the Met, I felt right at home when Alini and Jose came out for one last triumphant bow.