Ballet never interested me. Even when we saw videos of it in class, I still was not too engaged. This applies to dancing in general, but ballet especially never appealed to me. My reaction to the ballet completely transformed upon actually watching it at the theatre. It is really a testament to the fact you need to experience something with your own eyes, and not a screen, to really appreciate it.

At first, I was mesmerized by the body movements. When I put on my binoculars and payed close attention to  individuals, I actually felt physically hurt upon observing some of their movements. The way they stretched and moved their bodies is really a feat of human ability.  The quality of their movements wasn’t the only amazing thing, but the quantity as well. It is beyond me how they memorized all the diverse set of moves as elegantly as they did.

The music element of the ballet performance was in my opinion essential. The dance choreography fitting with the beat of the music made it all the more powerful. It also helped to tell the story more. Often it was difficult to make out the story from the choreography, but the music added that extra information (via atmosphere and tension) for me to better understand and contemplate.

It was not only the ballet itself that caught my attention. Often I found myself taking the binoculars and focusing on the conductor’s (of the orchestra) hand movements. That was an art by itself and it was really entertaining to see just how engaged and in tune the conductor was with the music.

I really appreciate being able to experience this. I doubt I would have ever gone to the ballet on my own initiative. I’m glad I was there.