Yesterday I went to the ballet to see Don Quixote. I dragged along one of my friends (with the enticement "He tilts at windmills!") and turned her into a ballet addict just like that. The whole thing had originally started as a fake excuse to avoid having to spend too much time with Volodya, who wanted to take pictures of me with these two random girls, and even though I flaked at the last minute in favour of watching television! In English! at my friend's apartment, we decided the ballet would still be a lovely event to talk about in Russian class tomorrow.
Oh, it was beautiful. I hadn't been to a good production in years-- when I was little it was always Nutcracker at Christmas and then Sleeping Beauty sometime in the spring, and I would get all dressed up in my little velvet dress (there were a whole series of these, ranging through all shades of dark. They were worn with black patent mary janes and thick white stockings. The earliest ones had lace collars and made me look adorable. The later ones still would have been adorable, had I not gone through a rather unfortunate stage from the age of 9 to about 12, featuring a plump apple-shaped face and hair of an androgynously short length,w hich for some reason I kept cutting short, even though I knew I look awful with short hair. After that, I was too old for adorable velvet dresses and alternately favoured clothing of the skaterish or skankyish variety. Oh, the tightness of my jeans!) and trot down to the Teatro Regio with my mom and my stepfather and assorted other relatives, and sit up in one of the boxes, leaning my chin on the velvet-covered railing, and sucking on the fizzy lemon candy my stepfather kept in his pocket. The theatre itself was gorgeous, all gold and red velvet, left over from the times when Turin was the capital of Italy. There supposedly was an underground tunnel leading to the royal palace for when the weather was inclement. We were shown the entrance on one of our many school trips there.
This entire digression was simply to show how much I truly love ballets, and how much I've missed going. The performance was at the Mikhailovsky theatre, which is rather gorgeous itself-- tiers of white and gold balconys with orange velvet seats. We managed to get quite good seats for about ten dollars (hurray for student tickets and the festival!) and the show itself was just magic. I had never seen the entirety of Don Quixote, and it was my friend's first time at the ballet, so it was a novelty to both of us, and it was just amazing how the dancers managed to create a whole magical world on the stage. There were at least 6 scene changes, and considering they do a different production every day, and as I've been to this theatre twice before and none of the scenery was recycled, I would pretty much kill for a look in their scene shop. The dancers were utterly amazing. The leads flitted and sprang and-- oh, I can't describe it without getting trite, but my mouth was hanging open the entire time, and the rest of the audience seemed to agree, from the amount of applause at the end of each section.
I was sad when it was time to go but tomorrow I have tickets to go see Farukh Ruzimatov perform, and I am very much looking forward to that. The lady sitting next to us is going as well. She told us he is nicknamed the Black Panther, a fact which sounded so much cooler when she was describing it in Russian and we realised we understood, but it was still lovely talking to a stranger about theatre in a language you've only been studying three months. Wahee!