Saturday, November 24, 2007

Theatrical donkeys

Off to the ballet on Sat afternoon at the Atatuerk Arts Centre; it was a ballet by, amongst others, someone called Lanchbery. I could have sworn I had reviewed the ballet recently, after a Tbilisi performance, but no internet to check. Well, anyway, let's see what the Turks can do.

I should have remembered - the curtains opened to La Fille Mal Gardee! Oh wonderful! I love, love, love this ballet - it's Rossini on legs (in some cases very Rossini indeed).

It was the same set (maybe the very same?) as in Tbilisi a few weeks ago, but obviously different dancers. The fille was very young and very small; I think under the strict Turkish laws any suitor might have been thrown into prison for interfering with an underage girl. Her young man (no internet to check) was not as good as the one in Tbilisi with the legs up to his armpits - this one's legs just went up to his well-endowed important bits (my op was successful, no?), though whether he was as well-endowed as Nurejev, whose glorious nakedness I spotted on a link from opera-chic recently, I doubt very much. The daft wee boy with his red umbrella was better in Tbilisi; the Turkish mother was brilliant, brilliant, brilliant - totally camp, with a very jutting, manly chin - and 'she' did a great clog dance! Must have watched the British video.

But the star of the show, to me at least, was the live little donkey who pulled mother and daughter to the suitor's home. He, definitely a he, was as good as gold, standing still on his skinny little legs, and then moving off as required. Not something you could say about every donkey. I guess we were in Turkey....

The choreography was slightly altered, I thought; here and there were unexpected steps, and I am sure in Tbilisi we had a double wedding, where at least the daft boy's dad married the girl's mum.

Next to me was a heavily veiled granny with her skinny, belly-button-showing granddaughter; they had a great time! You don't see so many of these veils in theatres in Istanbul - I suspect they all live in Germany....

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