Saturday, 7 May 2016

Swan Lake

Recently my eye was caught by an announcement in our local paper of the ballet "Swan Lake" performed by dancers and orchestra of the National Opera of Russia in the Parc des Expositions of Chalon-sur-Saône.

Poster (internet)
That is a ballet we know quite well, which we have seen a number of times in the past at various locations, and which we certainly would not mind to see again. At the bottom of the article there was a phone number given: so what would stop us? The phone number appeared to belong to the local Tourist Office, where they could only tell us that the tickets were most likely for sale at the Supermarkets. At the "Ballet" section of your local Coop? We did not think so, and decided to search the internet.

Parc des Expositions - Chalon-sur-Saône
It turned out to be possible to buy on-line tickets which we could print out ourselves, so within no time we were geared up for an old fashioned outing. However, the outing was not as old fashioned (plush chairs, a foyer) as we thought it would be. The Parc des Expositions appeared to be a big hall, specially built for fairs and the like (in hindsight the name could have been a give-away, duh….).

Stange and seats for the orchestra
For this show the hall had been transformed into a theatre, with a stage, places for the orchestra and a big number of uncomfortable seats at ground level in front of the stage and a number of seats, amphitheatre-wise, at the back of the hall. One had either a reasonable view on the stage from far away, or a good view on what was happening on stage hoping that those sitting in front of you were midgets or toddlers. We found out that we had chosen the latter option, however without a no-dwarf no-toddler guarantee…

The seats
Very un-French the show started spot on time (20h05), and that was a novelty for us. Photographing and filming was strictly forbidden, and so were switched on mobiles. They would interfere with the microphones (an argument I had never heard before, however, it worked!). The pictures of the ballet in this blog were nicked from the internet.

Swan Lake (internet)
Despite the venue and the seating arrangement the evening was worth its while. The orchestra played very good, and the dancers (although not Bolshoi class) gave an excellent show. In the end it worked out quite well; with a big classical ballet like this, the draw-back (wringing your neck in all sort of bends to see something) sound much more dramatic than it really was.

Swan Lake (internet)
Certainly in scenes with big quantities of dancers on stage, each spectator could focus on a spot on the stage where he or she had a good view on what was happening. And now we are looking out for the Nutcracker…..

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