The very first time that I saw a ballet production, I was a kid of no more than 10, and my family and I went to see The Nutcracker in downtown Toronto. I had seen The Nutcracker ballet on TV before, and of course the Carebears had a TV episode about it every year which I always watched, but this was my first time seeing it live. I was really excited.
However, the only thing I remember about watching The Nutcracker that night was that in the middle of a spin, the Sugar Plum Fairy fell and nailed the ground. *SMACK!*
But, before the audience could finish drawing its collective breath she was up and dancing again.
Her falling and getting up again in just about the blink of an eye has stayed with me, because she must have been in pain, but she carried on as if nothing had happened. Dancers are intense people.
Years later I went back to the ballet for a second time and saw the dress rehearsal for Romeo and Juliet (FYI dress rehearsal tickets are free) and it was simply gorgeous. I cried, of course, at the end. I’m of the opinion that if you don’t, you are, as one of my English professors would later say, “a heartless fiend.”
Just this past year I went back to the ballet and funnily enough saw Romeo and Juliet again. Now, though, after having gone through undergrad as an English and History student, and then through teachers’ college, what impressed me the most about the performance was how you don’t need words to tell a story. You can be moved to the point of tears by … movement. Whether this is because of Shakespeare, the talent of the dancers or a combination of both is obviously up for debate, but the thing I love about stories the most is that they are more than words on a page. They live. Breathe. Exist in your imagination, on a TV screen, or in a theatre.
What’s your favourite story that’s been told through another medium?