I have to say one thing about being in the US of A, it give us time and opportunities to explore the interesting things.
I, in my life never thought , that I will go and see a live ballet peformance. That too the famous “Swan Lake” by the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The St. Louis Ballet Company
Now to appreciate ballet there are few pre-requisites ( something that we realized after the 3 hr performance).
– A passing knowledge of the dance form itself. While it looks mesmerizing and you know dancing on your toes is extremely painful, you really wish you know the what that jump or the twirl or the folding of the hands meant. Because I am sure like any other form of dance-drama these movements have meanings that add to the story telling
– An appreciation of instrumental music. I am not a big music person. I can never ‘just’ listen to music. Understanding instrumental music – whether Indian or international as always been a challenge for me. To understand ballet you need to understand the music – the music determines the mood of each performance. The story is narrated thru the music
So , I have to admit, a lot of the art of the ballet was lost on me. Because I can appreciate dancing in general I was able to appreciate ballet’s grace,elegance and discipline. The costumes and sets were perfect. There was an etheral quality to the peformance. However,before I attend any other ballet performance I would probably need some education.
I have attended very few live concerts and when we heard that Mark Knopfler would be in town to promote his new album “Get Lucky”, we booked our tickets – 3 months in advance. Its kind of surreal to have really enjoyed Dire Straits all through your younger years and then to see the band perform in front of your eyes. Ofcourse its not Dire Straits anymore , but 3 of the original band members were there…so there. The concert was at the grand Fox Theater in St. Louis – one of the more magnificent of the Fox properties. I know I am going back there as a tourist.
The crowds went crazy when MK and band walked on to the stage. He started the performance by belting out the first song of the Get Lucky album – Border Reiver. A lot of music in this album seems to have Scottish and Irish influences. I personally feel that Get Lucky is an awesome album.
I also loved Sailing to Philadelphia , probably, more than Sutlans of Swing and the band was generous enough to sing quite a few songs from that album including the title track. The crowds was enthusiastic and almost every song got a standing ovation. The thing about watching a legend like MK perform in front of you is that it makes you realize that the genius is real. We all have our favorites but I was especially emotional when he ended the concert with “Piper to the End” .
Everytime I hear a Mark Knopfler song, the magic of that evening comes back to me.