Thursday, January 15, 2009

Navoi Bolshoi Ballet - Gala Medley Ballet Performance

Date : 01/08/2009 (mm/dd/yyyy)
Venue : Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA - Mumbai

The Novoi Bolshoi Ballet accompanied by the Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra from Uzbekistan performed for the first time in Mumbai and i was lucky enough to catch them for a ticket price of just Rs 400/-. I would describe it as one the most beautiful performances ive ever seen ; a treat both for the eyes and the ears. The mind was quietly resting...

It was the first ballet performance that ive attended in my life so i was understandably a little at loss at what was going on. On top of that it was a medly of stories, half of which i hadnt even heard of. Anyway, the performance started with 'Laila and Manju' so an obvious Indian connection was put forth there. It was followed by 'Swan's Lake' with the unmistakable and utterly beautiful Tchaikovsky composition. The meaning of the phrase 'no words to describe' was quite clear after the performance. Next came an excerpt from 'Spartacus' when Spartacus was just leaving for battle and wishing his lover to send him away with her most beautiful and best wishes.

On this note we went into a small break.

Not surprisingly they had saved their best for after the break. The first performance was 'Raymonda' followed by an excerpt from 'Romeo and Juliet' and lastly 'The Nutcracker'. Now when they changed stories was really hard to tell. In 'The Nutcracker ', the woman who played the Sugar Plum Fairy (i think) completely stole the show. Hers was the performance of the evening and she was given a thunderous ovation after the performance and was congratulated by the organisers; or what i think were the organisers. These two gentlemen were then presented with bouquets and niceties were exchanged. Thus the show came to an end.

It was an amazing experience for me even though i was seated on the very last row almost on the left corner. I would'nt think twice before visiting another ballet (if the ticket costs Rs 400 or lower). It was a dance ideal for the music both simply graceful.

There were however two lessons i learnt from this:

1) Avoid medley ballets. In order to truly enjoy a ballet and watch the performers recreate a story in the artistic way that they do, watch a performance portraying just one play/story. Ofcourse a medley has its own beauty, but it dosnt do justice to any of the stories.

2) Do a background read of the performance so that you have some idea of what exactly is going on and thus you will enjoy the performance even more.

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