For Louisecastello. (and anyone else who enjoyes ballet) This subject evolved out of a discussion about Mikhail Baryshnikov after I saw there is a horse named Baryshnikov. It's so neat to find someone who also enjoys ballet. Did you follow Rudolf Nureyev at all? I remember babysitting while I was in college for a couple who were going that night over into NYC to see Nureyev and Fonteyn and I was soooo envious. I didn't think Fonteyn would be dancing much longer, but 6 or 7 years later both Nureyev and Fonteyn came to Los Angeles and I went to see them. In fact I went 3 times while they were there. I think it was twice to the Hollywood Bowl and once to the Shrine Auditorium. I remember one was Fonteyn's ballet--Giselle--another was evenly balanced between both--Romeo and Juliet (Prokofiev)--and the third was Nureyev's. It was an avante garde piece I've never seen or heard of since, that was at the Shrine. It was ultra-modern and called Paradise Lost. It was amazing and the most erotic thing I've ever seen, but not the least bit pornographic. Just wonderful. Then in 1969, when my mother came out to help with my wedding preparations, I took her and my future sister-in-law to the Hollywood Bowl to see them one last time. I think Margot Fonteyn retired soon after. She was really old then. I can't remember what the ballet was though. It was one of the classic ones, I think, possibly Coppelia. I also got to see Eric Bruhn dance on one of my trips East to visit my family. My sister took me to the Lincoln Center to see him, She was a big fan of his. Unfortunately it was really hard to get tickets, so we had to sit in different parts of the theatre. Funny. And, as I mentioned I saw Barushnikov live in LA. The first ballet I saw live was the Royal Ballet, I think, at the Hollywood Bowl. That is the best venue for ballet because it's outdoors and the gentle breezes blow over you as you get wrapped up in the storied world on the stage. They did Swan Lake and it was really magical seeing it outdoors. I was disappointed in how short the first act was and was shocked, when checking my watch, to see that it was almost an hour long. It was so fantastic and beautiful. We sat very close to the stage, too. I have such eclectic tastes, that back in the 60s, I had two sets of friends--two women that I would go to the ballet with and two different women that I would go with to see baseball games. hahaha In 1966, I went to 14 Dodger games and 7 Angels games. Those were happy days. I was single and had money. That was also the year I went to a lot of those ballets.We went to see Baryshnikov in early January of 1978. It was my Christmas present for the family (husband, son, and me). We went to see The Nutcracker. Can I tell you my amazing son story? He's kind of a genius (with Asperger's syndrome, I now know, but we didn't then) and he made a big impression on the woman sitting next to us at the ballet. Kenny was just turned 7 and he was absolutely enthralled. We were in the front row of the first balcony of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and he sat on the edge of his seat holding onto the lower railing in front. During the intermission the woman sitting on my other side said, "Your little boy is so well-behaved. He's really watching this and seems to be enjoying it." I assured her he was. She wanted to know how old he was and was surprised that he was only 7. Well, as the next act began, the music for the Sugar Plum Fairy started playing, and the ballerina who was dancing Clara came dancing onto the stage, and Kenny turned to me from his position at the railing and said, "I guess there's no Sugar Plum Fairy in Baryshnikov's version, either." The woman next to me gasped and said, "What did he say?!" LOL I explained to her that a few weeks earlier we had watched the Bolshoi version on TV, which didn't have a Sugar Plum Fairy, either. I have to admit it was pretty amazing for a 7-year old to make that connection upon hearing the music and seeing Clara dancing to it. He was always astounding me that way. hahaha
Thanks for sharing, Delamont. I watched some YouTube videos of Nureyev, Baryshnikov, and Godunov last night and concluded that Baryshnikov was the absolute best. He was so amazing in his prime.