Attending the Ballet in St. Petersburg, Moscow… and Winnipeg

This past Saturday night, Andrew and I went to see Swan Lake at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, though located in fairly humble city, is an extraordinary ballet company, and we’ve only been to one other ballet here… Dracula.  So we felt we needed to attend again, and when we heard they would be performing Swan Lake, well, we knew it was time.  I mean, it’s THE ballet to see.  Also, I felt I now actually knew a bit about the ballet from having watched Black Swan.

I think having seen that movie actually did help in my appreciation.  Yayoi Ban’s depiction of Odette was strikingly different than her depiction of Odile, which is remarkable.  The dancing was technically so different, or rather, conveyed an entirely different personality and emotion.  Pretty extraordinary.

Also, I think we were sitting next to her husband.

I mean, he was there early, all by himself, looked to be her age, was wearing a wedding ring, seemed very normal/well-balanced, and he applauded with exceptional enthusiasm every time she appeared.  I was convinced they’re married.  But Andrew refused to ask him.

“If only Tracy were here,” I told him.  “She’d have found this out by now.”

I love having curious friends, I can sit beside them and learn all kinds of things about people, without saying anything.  (I guess that maybe makes me kind of creepy, though…)

Anyway!  Tracy was not with us, so alas, we never confirmed whether or not this was Yayoi Ban’s husband next to us.  (But we think it was.)

In addition to the phenomenal dancing and costumes, I found the sets breathtaking.  The forest!  The lake!  So lush!

I don’t know if you can tell yet, but I don’t know much about ballet at all.  However, that hasn’t stopped me from visiting some of the other most fantastic ballets in the world… in Russia.

From my travel journal:

“Tuesday July 6, 2010 // We went to see Giselle at the Mariinsky Theatre.  The walk there was longer than expected, we were late, and made quite a commotion upon entering.  Thankfully we sat next to some girls from London who found our antics to be hilarious.  The seating was incredibly tight — I guess that’s why our seats were available even though they cost less.”


Even this photo we took of the theatre, looks like a painting.  Incredible.


“The ballet was simply gorgeous!  Loved it!”

That was kind of an understatement.  It was mesmerizing.  What a gorgeous story, the sets, and the abilities of the ballerinas was simply stunning.



I so loved this.  *sigh*


Exterior of the Mariinsky Theatre… 

Then we jetted off to Moscow, where we attended the Bolshoi Ballet!

“The Bolshoi is being renovated, but they’re having performances in a theatre next door.  It was quite beautiful… Raymonda.  Gorgeous tutus and stunning moves.  Loved it!”

Yes… my journal entries are so insightful.  (That was sarcasm.  My journal entries are lazy, lazy, LAZY.  Argh!)


We sat near the ceiling.


We were seated very close to this light fixture.


We were also very close to each other.  Which was great!  I looked truly terrible in this picture.  That is less great.  But, it kinda shows how tiny the seats were up in the nosebleed section.  We didn’t mind.  It’s what we paid for.



This is the actual Bolshoi.  We did not go in here.  See the screen print-out canvassy thingy on top…?  At least the entire structure wasn’t covered up.  But you can see a crane peeking out the side there on the right… ha.


This is where we saw Raymonda.  Also quite spectacular.  So yeah… it’ll do.

So!  This is pretty much the extent of my experience with ballet… but I really have seen the very best.  The Bolshoi, the Mariinsky… and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

I still feel like applauding!  (Though admittedly not as boisterously as Yayoi’s husband.)


8 responses to “Attending the Ballet in St. Petersburg, Moscow… and Winnipeg

  1. I think you looked ridiculously gorgeous in that picture where you’re standing with all that gold behind you. Oh, and I love that you were sitting practically against the ceiling. This is quite amusing. And your final line about applauding like Yayoi’s husband made me guffaw again!

    Keep up the posts! I enjoy them so very much! It makes me want to do a blog too! But, I won’t. 😉


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