A Night At The Ballet

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I'm a bit behind on my resolution to complete the 52 stories challenge - but here's number 1 in a series of at least 1. It's a little more ByTheMemory than ByTheMinute but I couldn't provide live updates from that most august of Arts Venues - The Macrobert Theatre in Stirling (not, as Jeremy Hardy pronounced it " The Macro Bert") during a recent production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake by Ballet West

I've only once ever been to the Ballet before - also in Stirling - at The Albert Hall in about 1970 - aged 5 - along with my parents and brother and sisters I don't recall anything other than the excitement of being out late on a Sat night - no memory of the ballet - but suspect we didn't behave with appropriate decorum: the next time our parents took us out as a family, it was to the Wrestling...

And so the action - the lights are down, the curtain is raising, i can hear footsteps - and my neice Amy is dancing in Act 3. Only let down is that there is no live orchestra - however the sound quality is very good and the music is beautiful, delicate and dramatic

Act 1 - Prince Seigfied's birthday. His mum (eh...the Queen) has given him a crossbow and then asks him to choose a bride from among the guests at a Ball being given in his honour the next day. Later, he sees a bunch of swans and seems to quite fancy one of them. Apart from that, he just sits about a lot in this Act....one of the laziest leading-men performances this theatre has surely witnessed!

Act 2 - Evil magician (tautology?) Rothbart rules over Princess Odette and her followers. By day, they are swans but take human form at night. She can only be freed from this by a man who loves only her - Seigfried's seems to be the very chap to break the spell. Right - interval - Mackies ice-cream galore

Act 3 - The Ball - Seigfried is not captivated by any of the girls (because he fancies a swan) - and his mum's getting irritated. The a nobleman (but really it's Rothbart) arrives with his daughter Odile. Because of some plot, Seigfried gets confused and thinks Odile is Odette and tells all he is to marry her - which breaks the oath he has made to Odette - and consequently, she will remain a swan

Act 4 - some other swans try to console Odette - Seigfried arrives to say how sorry he is and how he was deceived. She forgives him but is resigned to killing herself as the only way to break Rothbart's spell. Seigfried resolves to die alongside her

Swan Lake is beautiful and sad - and there can be few sadder things in life than a suicidal swan....The End