Monday, January 11, 2010

Long Ago and Far Away

My first experience of live theatre came at the age of five. Pretty lucky five-year-old: my parents and I attended Prokoviev's ballet of Cinderella, performed by the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in London. It was choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton, who also played one of the ugly sisters, with Robert Helpmann as the other. Antoinette Sibley was Cinderella, and her long time dance partner, Anthony Dowell, was her Prince Charming, one of the most renowned partnerships in the Royal Ballet's history. On arriving at the opera house, my father saw Dame Margot Fonteyn, who wasn't dancing, entering the stage door, which was very exciting!

So it was with great delight that I found that production on DVD. I bought it for my parents a couple of years ago and we watched it again recently. There is something particularly English about the choreography, which isn't the most thrilling, but it has an absolute charm. When a transformed Cinderella appears at the end of the first act, her carriage pulled by mice, it was heart stopping then, and it still is. Is it any wonder so many little girls go mad for ballet?
Apparently at intermission my parents rose to go and get a drink and beckoned me to follow them, at which point I burst into tears and refused to get out of my seat. I thought they were trying to trick me to leave, and I didn't want the magic to end. Not even the promise of an ice-cream budged me. I've been a fan ever since, and the tears still occasionally happen.


Protege said...

Ah, the love for this art was manifesting itself from very early age in you.;)
Even though I am not that familiar with ballet productions myself, I can fully understand others infatuation with it.

Blog Princess G said...

Protege: It also features men in tights which can be quite enlivening. :)