Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Ballet, You Say?

Ryan Williams is a ballet-guy. Whoda thought? 

I sheepishly invited a few people to join me in the days leading up to Murray-City's Ballet Under the Stars performance in its public amphitheater. I don't know whether I was ashamed to be going to the ballet, or whether I just wanted to enjoy the Entrechats to myself. Regardless, I was joyously overwhelmed by all the Pirouettes, Port de Bras, Jeté, and even a couple Cabriole by the more experiences dancers. I got to the amphitheater about 5 or 10 minutes after the show had already started. I chose the very top seat on the very last bleacher. The stadium was surprisingly full. I think that helped, because it taught me the way of the "ballet clap". I didn't comprehend completely how it happened, but periodically throughout the performance the audience would, in complete unison, begin a very loud applause. I was baffled. There was no "Applause" sign above and there weren't always obvious pauses in music and dancing where I would have found applause appropriate. How did they clap in sync every time at the right time?

The first piece included a woman dressed like a ballerina and a man dressed like a soldier danseur noble (male ballerina). It was quite provocative and repetitious (and long) and I did not add my ovation to the public's consent. 

My most favorite piece of the night, the one that opened my mind to the art of Ballet, was entitled Nocturnes. The Music was by Chopin and Michelle Armstrong did the choreography. It began by 8 Dancers taking their places on the stage. There were 4 male dancers dressed in different colors. 2 of the male dancers were accompanied by a female ballerina of the matching color and the other 2 male dancers were accompanied by 2 ballerinas of their matching colors. The colors were: Green, Purple, Orange, and Blue . The company began by dancing with their respective partners, but then alternated among everyone. Blues dancing with Greens, and Oranges with Purples. I was captured when each color got the stage to themselves and expressed some appropriate meaning of its color appendage. The orange dancers were very balanced. It consisted of one male dancer dividing his time evenly between two ballerinas. There was no sense of jealousy among the dancers, but perfect balance and harmony. The green dancers were so beautifully choreographed and I just felt so youthful while watching them. They performed some very "cool-looking" choreography and it just felt very hopeful. The blue dancers were very proper and reserved. Hardly did they separate from each other on stage. 

The purples dancers were the best part. Their dance was performed by (in my opinion) the two best dancers in the company. The purple ballerina started off dancing by her self, when the blue danseur noble came up behind her and startled her. They then awkwardly danced closely for a few minutes until their choreography matched up completely and they were beautifully in sync.  There was more "leap and catch" in this sequence than in any other. Approaching the end of the dance, the dancers began separating out and performing the same moves, except on different ends of the stage. What harmonious independence! The dance ended after they slowly approached one another again and ended in a nicely choreographed hug. I thought it represented falling in love, but that's just me. It was pretty moving

You know the oddest part? About 3/4 through the purple dance, for no apparent reason, and not called on by a break in action, I began to applaud...and it was completely in sync with the rest of the audience. I laughed to myself.


  1. That's a neat experience. My wife and I have been to the ballroom concert at BYU twice. The dancing was phenomenal and it told a story.

  2. I went to the Ballet Under the Stars too this week. I really liked Nocturnes as well, and had decided it was my favorite until I say the Carnival Scene. I had not even thought about Nocturne as being a story, and it is really cool to hear someone elses point of view. I did really enjoy the lifts in Nocturnes and seeing how they could set the ballerinas down with apparent ease, without a big clunk generally. It was a pretty neat event because I had never seen a real, for true ballet before.

  3. i hope the ballet is still going cause i would like to go and see it too. i liked the part with all the different colors. that must have been neat to watch live. and your not a fag..

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