Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Merry Viewer - The Merry Widow - Ballet Review

The Merry Widow - The National Ballet of Canada - Four Seasons For The Performing Arts Centre - Toronto

So I haven't had time to mention this but I went to the ballet again after loving it the first time. Apparently nothing actually happens in my life until I blog about it. Then I feel like I actually experienced it. I need help.

Anyways, I don't really have much to compare it to, as this was the first big traditional ballet I saw and while I feared I would be passed out asleep in my third row seat, I wasn't. In fact, I was like a little kid on the edge of my seat sitting straight up the whole time (which I never do because I'm 6'1" and thus I usually feel bad for the people behind me with my big head in the way, but the way the Four Seasons slopes, the sightlines are really good for everybody).

I seriously loved every minute of it, with all the big costumes and sets and the sound of the full orchestra in our new Opera house. It was glorious!

The story of The Merry Widow was actually easier to understand than I thought, pretty much a cute little romantic comedy of mixed signals and a comedy of errors. Not hard to understand and not easy to dislike.

The dancing seemed pretty fantastic to me (but again, the only comparable knowledge I really have comes from So You Think You Can Dance which has little ballet in it) although here's a good primer to the language of ballet. Still, I'm guessing the bravo's from the older crowd was a testament to the performance. I myself was just overwhelmed by it all that I knew I loved it, I just didn't really know why.

Here's a good video clip of The National Ballet of Canada's production of The Merry Widow.

The Merry Widow plays at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on April 24-26, 2008.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Traditional ballets are really really accessible, with simple (almost clichéd) storylines and dancing that highlights both the bravado of solo work and the disciplined cooperation of group work. Modern ballets are another story completely....