Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Going to the ballet

After dinner it was time to board a bus again for a trip to the ballet. My dream had always been to see the ballet in St. Petersburg. This is the home of Pavlova, Nijinsky, the Ballet Russe, Ulanova. I had really hoped to see a ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre, but unfortunately we were at the theatre across the street. The evening was somewhat disappointing. It is obvious that this is a performance put on for the cruise ship audiences, with programmes in English. We did not see a first rate company. I believe that these may have been mainly students from the school. The costumes and orchestra were lovely. The dancers were good but not great. The theatre was extremely hot, and people around us were grumbling about the temperature. We saw the ballet, Swan Lake. One odd thing that happened is that at the end of the second act they all bowed and were presented with flowers. At the end of the third act they again took bows and more flowers, including someone who ran up from the audience and presented flowers to one of the corps members.

We left the theatre after 10:30 and the sky was still light – St. Petersburg “White Nights”. Back at the ship around 11:00 the sun was just setting.


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