Monday, March 23, 2009

Almaty Ballet

There are so many ways to be surprised by this country. As we approach summer, we find ourselves talking about ’home’ a lot. Not in a homesick sort of way, rather in a way that makes us anticipate “the familiar.” That is, Edna wants a glass of milk, Cody wants to go biking with free abandon, Kyla wants to hang out with Tina or work in 9a‘s classroom, and I would like to be able to drive past a cop without having my blood pressure fluctuate.

But we have been surprised and amazed by literally hundreds of things. How about Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake?” We went to see our first ballet on Friday night. It was amazing. A live orchestra and about 50 dancers, 36 were swans. It was world class--another remnant of the Soviet influence is the highly subsidized and easily accessed fine arts. Opera, ballet, orchestra, and children’s Saturday theatre--puppet plays, magic shows, clowns, etc.--can be attended for as little as $2. We had third row seats for “Swan Lake” that cost $10 in a beautiful theatre. And it can start as early as 5pm in order to accommodate families.

Kyla just finished 6 months of ballet at school so she thought it was great. Cody enjoyed it, but it was a bit long: 2.5 hours.

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