IN my lifelong journey to better understanding of the world I live in, I admit there are something that I cannot comprehend.
I struggled with the complexities of GCSE Chemistry, any kind of cooking leaves me lost and the enduring popularity of the X Factor has me befuzzled.
Twenty minutes through watching my first ballet, ‘Pomp and Circumstances’, performed by Birmingham Royal Ballet at the Hippodrome, I thought I had something else to add to my list.
I’m guessing there’s a lot of people, particularly of my generation, that would never even think of going to the ballet. It’s perceived to be the hobby of the classically educated monied upper-classes, who enjoy watching anorexic halflings ponce about to a dirge composed by somebody-or-the-other.
To dismiss one of these criticisms from the outset, it’s not actually that expensive. You could’ve gone to see the performance that I did for as little as £14.50.
It is also more engaging than you might imagine. Aside from the first (of three) performances, which left me confused, and even perhaps a little bored, the other dances were hugely entertaining.
Special mention should go to the third and final performance, ‘Still Life at the Penguin Cafe’, which involved a variety of endangered animals leaping around to some upbeat tunes.
In one imaginative scene a flea was accompanied by morris dancers, in another a monkey ringmaster led the cast in celebratory moves and in one more a childlike rat leapt about with the sheer pleasure of being alive.
It was fun, watchable and had the entire audience grinning gleefully.
You don’t have to be a connoisseur of classical music, or know your pirouttes from your piques to appreciate it.
It captures the very essence of dance. It was visually impressive, entertaining to watch and great fun to be part of.
Whilst I still would say ballet isn’t particularly ‘my kind of thing’ and there is more that could be done to make it more accessible (a simple synopsis in the programme would be a start), if you’ve never ventured to the ballet before it is worth putting preconceptions to one side to make up your own mind.