I’m all for trying new things, so when I saw an ad for an English National Ballet performance titled Strictly Gershwin I called up my ballet-loving friend Shannon and booked some tickets! I’d never seen a ballet performance before and thought that some Gershwin tunes might help me ease my way into it.
The music rocked. It was big band style and I got my money’s worth from the trumpets alone. But the dancing… Everybody else seemed to enjoy it, but… I was confused.
There were a few beautiful classical ballet performances interspersed with the strangest combination of styles you can imagine. Ballet dancers trying to do salsa, but with smooth, flowing movements instead of sharp sexy ones. Didn’t work. A big song and dance number like a Bjork film clip, with people pushing prams, toy soldiers on rollerblades and a coupla classical dancers in the middle of the mayhem. There was also a guest singer with a brilliant voice who had to be 70 years old. She could take the stage just fine, but seemed to refuse to leave without being escorted off on the arm of a fit young man in tights. Hmmm.
It was a fun night out but more like a variety show than a ballet! Strictly Gershwin? Yes. Strictly Ballet? No. Despite my efforts to widen my cultural awareness I think I can still claim never to have seen ballet. Back to the drawing board!