I think we often forget how much we love the ballet. It’s not an activity that our culture really takes notice of anymore. Mind you, I’m saying this as a 23-year-old college graduate who is occasionally teeters on the edge of broke, but also wasn’t a dancer to begin with and therefore the notion of going to a ballet sounds pretty out of the ordinary. The act would be so shocking that if I ever heard the words, “I’m going to the ballet tonight,” I’d half expect the speaker to add, “I’ll be taking the carriage as well.” My idea of a night out on the town usually involves a visit to whichever dive is selling the cheapest pint of Allagash, and while there maybe I’ll a nod my head awkwardly to the tunes playing. I would be impressed if there are even 10 readers out there who can boast about evenings out that dramatically differ from the one I just admitted.
What I’m trying to say is that I don’t go to the ballet. In fact, I don’t actually know anyone who does go to the ballet.
I think this is pretty sad. That’s why last Friday’s performance by the Portland Ballet at the Portland Public Library was a wonderful reminder of what I’ve been missing by neglecting the ballet. Set up in the large front windows of the library, the ballet came to the streets of Portland for a free and inspiring show that immediately drew in large crowds of viewers. Kneeling on the cold ground, I sat in quiet awe through the performance. Alongside me were children imitating the dancers, couples dancing along with the music, wide, teary-eyed seasoned dancers perhaps realizing a sudden bout of nostalgia. The light, delicate music filled the area and for the first time ever, I found Congress Street inspired.
Lets bring the ballet back. And there is no better way to do this than by actually going to the ballet. Portland Ballet kicks off the holiday season on December 8th with a performance of The Victorian Nutcracker. I’ve already decided to skip the Allagash for an evening and attend. I hope you’ll join me.
Purchase your tickets here.