By Catherine Santino
Edited by Lara Medic
Edited by Lara Medic
Going to the ballet, especially in the heart of New York City, has always been a dream of mine. After all, who doesn’t secretly wish they could be a ballerina, wearing gorgeous costumes and getting to dance on a stage?
I had the opportunity to see Swan Lake, probably the most classic and beloved ballets, on a brilliantly sunny and warm afternoon in the city. The Upper West Side of Manhattan, where Lincoln Center and the Met are located, was bustling as per usual. As I made my way through the swarms of people and approached the lobby doors of the Met, I couldn’t help but notice that the crowd consisted mostly of senior citizens and mothers with their children. But, that’s what you’ll get at a matinee performance. I didn’t mind it, though.
|Swan Lake inspired fashion|
|Natalie Portman as a ballerina in Black Swan|
It was actually nice; the most endearing moment occurred when I was waiting in line for my ticket. A woman came up next to me and explained to one of the house managers that she and her daughter were supposed to be meeting someone on the Met staff as a part of some sort of American Girl outing. Later when I was being seated, I spotted a group of little girls clutching their American Girls dolls, which they had dressed in full ballerina attire.
I was as I excited as I’m sure those girls were about the production. As I took my seat, I could feel the energy in the room. I glanced around the theater, completely in awe of the stunning design. I couldn’t stop staring up at the beautiful crystal chandelier hung from the high ceiling.
|The beginnings of Swan Lake: Nureyev and Fonteyn -- Swan Lake, Paris, 1963 (center)|
Soon, the show began, and the orchestra struck the famous opening chords of the score that I’ve heard a million times before, just never in this capacity. I’m usually a pretty fidgety person, especially during shows, but I was completely and utterly enthralled by the performance that unfolded in front of me; I don’t think I moved a muscle throughout the entirety of it. It was incredible. The principle dancers received a roaring round of applause when they made their first appearances, and I swear I could hear the audience gasp with excitement and awe together during each particularly breathtaking moment. The dancers were absolutely beautiful, captivating, and precise. The costumes and scene changes were exquisite. I found myself with the same childlike wonder as all of the younger audience members around me. The ballet was given a standing ovation when the final curtain fell, and as everyone filed out of the theater, you could hear the murmurs of praise for the performance. As I stepped back out onto the bustling street filled with fellow theatergoers hailing cabs and heading to nearby restaurants for a post-show meal, I couldn’t help the massive smile on my face and the overwhelming sense of gratitude for what I had just experienced and the incredible culture that I am surrounded by in New York.
|Swan Lake Ballerina|
|Swan Lake at the Met Opera in New York|