Sunday, January 22, 2012
Favorite Gift #7: Dinner at Asia de Cuba and Sleeping Beauty @ The Royal Ballet
Shortly after my birthday, Jodi sent me a text asking if I was free on Thursday. I texted back, saying that I had planned on taking a ballet class with a friend after work, but nothing could have prepared me for what she responded with: "You'll still be doing something ballet-related, since I got tickets for us to see Sleeping Beauty at The Royal Opera House!" I kind of almost passed out with excitement. Despite my obsession with ballet and frequent visits to Sadler's Wells, I hadn't yet made it to see The Royal Ballet. I immediately called off my plans to work on my plie at the Central School of Ballet and met Jodi instead at Asia de Cuba, where she had booked a table for two.
And on to the ballet ... I certainly hadn't expected to be seven rows from the stage, and when I discovered that we, in fact, were, I teared up a bit when the curtain rose. For someone who studied ballet from the ages of 2 - 17 and used to pore over her subscription of Dance Magazine page-by-page, the incredible view was overwhelming. I can't remember the last time I was actually able to see the expressions on dancers' faces, let alone the details of their costumes and footwork - I'm usually squinting from the nosebleed section, obscured by a column.
The dancing was spectacular (albeit with a few near misses - Princess Aurora nearly lost her balance in one particularly tricky partnered arabesque and a principal dancer did actually lose his balance and fell backwards after completing a tours en l'air) and the set was absolutely magical. As the first ballet I ever had a part in (I was 8 and I'm pretty sure my lilac costume is still lurking in my closet at home somewhere), Sleeping Beauty has always made an impression on me and seeing it performed by The Royal Ballet, at the risk of sounding cliched, was truly a dream come true.
The evening was one of the best gifts I've ever received and I was so touched by Jodi's thoughtfulness that it'll definitely be a present I'll never forget. Thanks, Jodi!