Two Nights At The Ballet

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September 23, 2011

It’s that time of the year again – the time I very much look forward to because that’s when Bangkok gets a taste of world-class international culture of music and dance.  That’s something that I miss here, having lived in Europe and North America. This year marked the 13th year of Bangkok’s International Festival of Dance and Music.  And just like every year, amazing acts from all over the world delighted us with their talent.

As soon as I heard that one of this year’s featured performances was the Mariinsky Ballet Company, I was thrilled! It is after all, one of the world’s best ballet companies.  For those who are not familiar with ballet, Mariinsky hails from St. Petersburg Russia, and was founded in the 18th century, originally named Imperial Russian Ballet.  It’s biggest rival is only The Bolshoi Theatre from Moscow.

Thanks to my dear friend Rasina who got us tickets, I was able to indulge once again in one of my favorite pastimes – watching live ballet!

Mariinsky's Le Corsaire Ballet

Mariinsky's Le Corsaire Ballet

Mariinsky's Le Corsaire Ballet

Mariinsky's Le Corsaire Ballet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first night’s performance was the classic Le Corsaire (“The Pirate”) production.  It was astoundingly beautiful!  The costumes, the set, the artistry, the emotions – are all characteristic of Russian ballet at its best.  What was also really impressive is that the company tours the world with over 200 people, including their own orchestra, dancers, and technicians.

During intermission I met the artistic director Yury Fateyev, who told me that they just arrived from Sao Paolo, Brazil, where the 2011 Miss Universe Pageant was held at the same time.  He shared my disappointment in the fact that the MU contestants didn’t get a chance to come watch their shows.

Mariinsky's Don Quixote Ballet

Mariinsky's Don Quixote Ballet

Mariinksy's Firebird Ballet

Mariinksy's Firebird Ballet

The second night of the ballet was the Mariinsky Ballet Gala, which consisted of two parts.  The first act did not disappoint!  Divertissements from such classic ballets as Swan Lake (my all-time favorite), Sleeping Beauty, Carmen, Le Corsaire, Tarantella and Tchaikovsky’s pas de deux were performed by some of the best dancers in the world!  Among them was the prima ballerina of our generation Ekaterina Kondaurova.  Words fail to describe her impeccable technique and interpretive movement.  She was also the lead in the second act, which was the rarely seen ballet Firebird.  With her graceful hand and foot work she really embodied the character of the Firebird.  The production itself was grand!  With a stunning set, intricate details and costumes, the stage was transformed into a Russian fairytale.  It really reminded me of the old fairytale movies produced in the Soviet era I used to watch as a kid.  A trip back in time!

As usual, Russian dancers showed us why they are considered by most of the world the best!  And as every year, I had that little twinge of regret for not dedicating my life to dance, as it was my dream as a little girl.  But then I think, “I wouldn’t be doing what makes me so happy now”.

So let’s never live our lives with regret, as we all have a purpose in this world.  And that purpose is what we are doing NOW, at this very present moment.

Natalie and Rasina

My friend Rasina and I

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