As a little girl I used to love ballerinas and the ballet. I am pretty sure it was up there with my dreams of becoming a princess or marrying Leonardo from TMNT. Like many little girls, I took dance classes and hung my ballet slippers on my mirror. Sadly puberty and adolescence crushed those dreams and reality hit like a ton of bricks: I had no rhythm or flexibility and my body was anything but ballerinaesque.
During my adolescence I fed my appetite for dance with pop-culture and movies like “Center Stage” and “Save the Last Dance.” By the time I reached adulthood, the movies had become mundane (I’m lying, they are still my guilty pleasure), and the chance to experience an actual real ballet seemed reserved to the elite and sophisticated…and well I am neither of those. However, last Sunday I learned I was very wrong.
A friend of mine introduced me to the amazing availability of “rush seats” to The National Ballet of Canada at the Four Seasons Centre. For $35 dollars instead of $150, I had the opportunity to see real ballerinas perform real ballets in a real theater. Now before you get too excited, it is not always guaranteed that rush seats are available and it might be challenging to get tickets to “Swan Lake” or “The Nutcracker,” however you can always try. A few hours before each performance, the box office opens for rush ticket sales. I arrived at 1pm for the 2pm performance of “Innovation” which showcased four shorter ballets. I managed to get seats about ten rows from the stage. I later learned from ballet connoisseurs that the most coveted spots are a little further back and dead center. This is so you are best able to appreciate the patterns. Who knew?
Now I am not a critic, so I do not dare try to comment on the musicality, the artistic merits or the standard of dance. But here is what I can share. For $35 I got to spend my Sunday afternoon dressed up like a lady, watching stunning ballerinas move with such elegance and beauty, while being serenaded by soprano Dame Emma Kirkby and her countertenor Daniel Taylor. I had the opportunity to see four dances, including the incredibly haunting yet moving “Being and Nothingness (Part 1)” by choreographer Guillaume Côté and danced by Greta Hodgkinson. I also was swept away by the touching tale created by famous choreographer James Kudelka. The day was beautiful, elegant and made me fall back in love with dance and ballet. Kudos to Toronto and The National Ballet of Canada for making such a thing accessible for us town folk.
If you want to learn more about the rush tickets, check out the website or call the Box Office at 416 345 9595.
C’est tout for now!