I didn’t read the plot synopsis before the show started.
I mean, I totally know what happens in Giselle, who cares if I’ve never actually seen it before, I can totes figure it out, right?
Way more fun to people-watch the audience and read dancer bios until the house lights go down.
And while we are talking about bios, the Adult Beginner loves to read bios and see where people are from, which, turns out, is a neat thing about the Royal New Zealand Ballet- most of the dancers are actually from New Zealand or Australia. 20 of the 34, if I counted correctly. Which makes me happy because I always sit down before a ballet hoping to see something with a certain signature feeling of whatever place the ballet represents, and 99% of the time I discover as soon as I open the program that the overwhelming majority of the company is not even from that place.
I know, it’s naive in today’s global globe to think, like, NYCB is going to be all cold sophisticated independent glittery hard-edged… wait maybe they are. The Adult Beginner has never seen NYCB perform so who knows.
But anyway, I mean, it’s not like I literally think Giselle is going to have a New Zealand twist, I just like to think maybe there’s a certain level of cultural references and slangy shorthand and understanding that the company falls into easily together because they grew up in the same world.
I would never assume this about the LA Ballet, of course, because we all know nobody is actually from Los Angeles.
Anyway, so I didn’t read the plot synopsis and the lights went down and the curtain went up and these two dudes wandered out onstage and started kinda walking around and gesturing at this empty peasant village.
Which was really a beautiful set by the way. Loved the layers of tree branches overhead. High five to Howard C. Jones.
But anyway these dudes were wandering around and gesturing for kind of a long time and I was like, “Oh. No. Who are these guys?? What are they even doing?!?”
Figure the guy with the sword was probably Albrecht, our male lead, and the other guy was a manservant or something because he was wearing a red jacket with gold braid and was following the first guy around.
So I left with no choice but to interpret the situation this way:
ALBRECHT (removes sword from belt, gives sword to MANSERVANT, walks downstage)
MANSERVANT (gives ALBRECHT the up-and-down, pursues ALBRECHT downstage)
MANSERVANT (taps ALBRECHT on shoulder, gestures to ALBRECHT’S nether regions) Dude Bro, you forgot your pants?
ALBRECHT (looks down at nether regions) Ah yes. So I have. (chuckles to self, shakes head) Well here, you might as well take this too. (removes French horn from belt, gives horn to MANSERVANT) It would be silly to wear a horn with no pants.
Be this a lesson to you, Gentle Reader. Read the plot synopsis before you see one of these big olde time mime-heavy story ballets for the first time.
And really, why no pants Albrecht?
I mean, ok technically he was wearing very pale tan-ish cream-ish tights. But those tights just look so naked! Especially when All the other men are wearing actual pants. Like breeches. I mean, like, you can keep the tights just as tight as they wanna be while taking the pale color down a notch and seaming them to look like riding pants, or military trousers, or work pants, or something?