In The Land of The Sugar Plum Fairy

The second of my ‘new event adventures’ came about because several people I know were (and still are) involved in this particular area of the arts – ballet – and in fact I was lucky enough to go to a recital that their dance school staged several years ago.

I happened to thoroughly enjoy myself so I thought, why not. Let’s give a big professional production a go.

So where did I materialise?

Why … in the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy!

The Nutcracker and the RNZB.

I did a bit of research and discovered that the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) was going to perform The Nutcracker at the State Opera House in Wellington as part of the christmas season.

I thought that sounded absolutely delightful so booked my ticket and started counting down the days.

Question: What do you wear to a matinee ballet performance?

I was pretty sure I shouldn’t turn up in my ball gown, tiara and best pearls so I decided simple but tidy should do the trick.

And there was quite the buzz in the air when I arrived.

What looked like family groups of grandmothers, mothers and daughters were all in attendance and even the odd Dad was there. Happy eyes, excited smiles and pink bows were very much on display.

I had never been to the State Opera House before and I was just a little, well a lot, dazzled and delighted when I finally entered the main auditorium and got seated (close to the stage with an excellent view of the action).

From the moment the first sounds from the orchestra were played, the curtain was raised and the hush descended I was totally enchanted. I had of course seen snippets of ballet’s on television but there really is nothing like the magic of live performers in front of you to make your appreciation of their art form soar.  

The costumes, the music and the amazing skills of the dancers were wonderful to behold. Their strength coupled with the delicacy of movement was breathtaking. You could see their muscles straining as they moved gloriously across the stage as light as feathers.

I had done a little reading on The Nutcracker just so that I could follow and understand the action as I didn’t want a lack of knowledge to distract from my enjoyment and it did help. I might have been a bit lost otherwise.

A very funny interlude came in Act 2 when one of the male dancers appeared on stage without a shirt on … topless but very tastefully so. A little girl not far from me turned to her mother and asked in the most innocent of voices “why doesn’t that man have a t-shirt on?” Everyone in the immediate vicinity had a wee chuckle. Ahhh kids!

I am very happy to say that I had a fantastic time, an afternoon very well spent and definitely left the Opera House that day feeling very pleased that I had attended.

I would heartily recommend going to a live ballet performance at least once as it really is one of those experiences that you must have at least once in your life.

(Header Image: Luis Quintero)

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