Sleeping Beauty at the Paris Opera House
I really wanted to title this post “David Hallberg’s Amazing Coup de Pied” but I wasn’t sure if that would be a title anyone would really understand, let alone click on to read the post.
Chéri took me to the ballet at the Opera de Paris (this time at the Bastille opera house). I was disappointed that the show wasn’t being held at my favorite Paris monument (Palais Garnier), but I do find the seats more comfortable at the Bastille location. The ballet we watched : Sleeping Beauty. The choreography by Rudolf Noureev and the music by Tchaikovsky, it couldn’t be anything less than a pure delight. I was beyond excited. It has been a while since I have found the time to go to see a performance and I was starting to miss the incredible shows the company puts on. The costumes and sets are always at the height of perfection, made with talented hands and designed by great stage artists.
I was so entertained, I did not even noticed the THREE HOURS that went by! What I couldn’t get enough of was the American star dancer David Hallberg. He appeared at the second act, and I was instantly under the spell of his stage presence, his impeccable technique, and his incredible coup de pied. The arch of his foot is so intense, I could see how pronounced it was all the way from the first balcony! It’s so amazing that The Dancer’s Blog has a sort of “David Hallberg’s Feet Award. I mean look at it! I have never seen an arch so pronounced on a woman’s foot, and women tend to work their arch a lot more than men what with those point shoes and all.
I was so impressed I immediately took out my phone during one of the intermissions, and looked up everything I could read about him in the span of 10 minutes. Le Figaro had a wonderful article about him that sung his praises. I learned that he was the first American to be invited to the Bolshoï as a star dancer, and the first one to have danced the Sleeping Beauty with the Bolshoï ballet. Chéri got an earful throughout the show, of me whispering awed exclamations about this man’s incredible talent and his insane feet. My eyes hardly left him and his feet while he was on stage. Pure beauty.
The ballet really was a delight, despite my tranced distraction by David Hallberg’s feet.His star partner Svetlana Zhakarova is also a star at the Bolshoï. they were invited to dance together some of the presentations of this ballet. I am so glad we happened to get tickets for a night when they were dancing the lead roles!
I love this ballet because I feel like I know so much of the choreography. We danced those variations so many times in ballet class throughout my youth, that I could almost anticipate ever next step. And the music brought back so many thrilling memories. Sleeping Beauty is one of the great classic for a really good reason. The music is beautiful and by one of the greatest composers ever to have lived. The Noureev choreography is extremely difficult, takes great skill, yet looks sweet and pretty to the untrained eye. This is how classical ballet is supposed to be. And the story, well, it is a pretty love story full of princesses and fairies, and valiant dashing princes…
I could have stayed and watched another three hours without batting an eye.
As I write this post, David is currently pirouetting and jetéing around the Palais Garnier stage in a ballet created after the Balzac novel, Les Illusions Perdues, oh just one of my favorite novels EVER! I couldn’t get there in time for last minutes tickets. Darn day job got in the way. I am hoping and crossing my fingers that they will present the same ballet next season, and hopefully, I hope hope hope invite this ballet god back. He could seriously be the next Baryshnikov.
And now, I will let you enjoy this video. Version : Bolshoï.