I went to the ballet last night. One of my dearest friends here had been gone for a month, and I wanted to celebrate his return, and another of my dearest friends has put up with a disproportionate amount of my chaos lately, and I wanted to celebrate her sweetness, and also I will not miss an excuse for what looks like a good ballet, which it did. So we went.
The first piece was Serenade, by George Balanchine. Bunch of pretty girls fluttering their arms about, with some guys trying to look like the goblin king in the pants department wandering around. One can like it, but it was: meh. I hate to say that. I mean, here I'm looking at a stage full of athletes and all I can think is: let's do math with Balanchine, because it really looked like illustrations of math problems or something. Not word problems, either. So mostly I sat there thinking about WHY I didn't like it, which is not really the feeling you want in the theater.
The second piece was Sofa, by Olivier Wevers, and that was totally different. There was a purple velvet sofa, and everybody danced on and under and around it, and it was awesome. It made me think of high school and how I couldn't have boys in my room but we could be in the living room, and how the sofa was like a way station to where we wanted to go, and the center of slumber parties, and where we watched TV, and it is still all those things, the sofa is so central, and these dancers were fighting and kicking and kissing and teasing all on a sofa, just like us, except of course way more elegantly and their feet probably hurt a lot more. And in this I felt fully engaged and delighted.
The third piece was Lunar Sea, by Moses Pendleton, danced by MOMIX, a sort of black light madness and chaos. Like the first one, it didn't have a story, but it was so busy and stimulating visually that it didn't need one. And so we watched people split open, creatures with four legs dancing across the stage, absolutely a hundred things to look at.
We ran across the street in the rain, ducked into a clean well-lighted place for tapas and wine, and talked and talked, the beauty of this, three generations of ballet in one evening, and how the first one made sense because we could see now how that non-narrative mathematical beauty made the other two possible, and how the third one called back to it, and how amazing it is to be able to see this when it is presented like that. It was delightful. I was delighted.