Last Thursday, I went to the ballet, Romeo and Juliet, and didn’t like it. I don’t normally go to the ballet, but I threw caution to the wind that night. When I came home, I tried to figure out what I didn’t like about it, and broke it down into its individual components:
Was it the dancing? – Perhaps. I’ve never really liked dancing. It’s always seemed to me that there is only a finite number of maneuvers one can make, and that the only way to make it more interesting is by putting more and more dancers on the stage. (Unlike music, where the possibilities are endless.) But that’s only my ignorance speaking… I know that there is certainly more to dance than meets my eye: passion, interaction, and so on. I simply have never been able to appreciate it at all. I suppose I’m just not sophisticated enough to appreciate it. Or maybe I don’t know what to look for. Regardless, I didn’t particularly like the dancing when I went to see Romeo and Juliet on Thursday evening.
The music, by Sergei Prokofiev, was not particularly awe-inspiring either. Although the melodies were undeniably original, the music in general did not inspire any strong emotions within me. It struck me as shallow and meager. Particularly jarring was the inclusion of a tenor saxophone in the ensemble. It fit as well as a square peg fits into a circular hole. (What in gods name was Prokofiev thinking when he put a tenor saxophone into a ballet?) During one of the two intermissions, I began a conversation with the woman sitting next to me, who brought up an interesting point. She told me that she’d always liked the music because “the melodies are whistle-able,” and that she always finds herself whistling the themes of Romeo and Juliet on her way out of the hall. Although many would disagree with her – claiming that the musical value of a work involves so much more than its memorability — her opinion was quite valid. In fact, I discovered it to be more than valid, as I began to whistle the tunes as I exited the concert hall as well!
What have I learned from this experience? The ballet is for some, and not for others. I suppose I’m just more of an “opera addict” than a “ballet buff”. But the important thing is that I tried it. This is all that I preach: have an open mind! Take that leap of faith across the perilous chasm of musical ignorance! Go to your first opera! Go to your first ballet! And if you don’t like it, at least you can say that you tried.Tags: album, ballet, baroque, best classical music, cd, classical, classical music, classical music cds, classical music composer, classical music Mozart, classical music online, classical piano music, composers, concert, Events, General, instrument, met opera, metropolitan opera, music, opera, opera house, opera singers, piano, prokofiev, reviews, romeo and juliet, romeo juliet