A little research goes a long way;
If you are planning on attending an evening at the ballet, it is a good idea to do a little research on the storyline, particularly if it is a full length ballet. Ballet is generally conveyed through the body, without dialogue, so whilst you may understand the general plot, subtleties will be lost. I find it more enjoyable when I am acquainted with the story and can enjoy the full impact of the dance on top of this awareness.
Enjoying the score:
Familiarising yourself with the musical score of a ballet can make your evening at the ballet even more enjoyable. Scores can grow on you! Most popular ballet scores can easily be attained online or on cd.
Dressing for the ballet:
True devotees of the ballet commonly attend opening night of the season for various reasons, and tend to dress more formally, sometimes in black tie. However, there are no steadfast rules, nor a specific dress code. Out of respect for the artform, most people dress smartly.
It is wise to allow yourself adequate time to park the car, pick up your tickets, enjoy a refreshment, find your allocated seat and peruse the program/cast sheet. Most theatres open the house 30 minutes prior to curtain up. An evening at the ballet can be quickly ruined by a theatre lock out for late comers.
Manners in the theatre:
- As a general rule, there is no eating or drinking in the theatre.
- If you are taking a child to a performance, they need to be capable of sitting still for at least 2 hours with a short intermission, so as not to impair the enjoyment of other theatre patrons.
- Refrain from moving from side to side.
- Switch your mobile phone off. In some cases interference from electronic devices can cause problems with wireless production equipment. Most theatres strictly prohibit cameras and/or other types of audio or visual recording devices.
- Be considerate to fellow theatre patrons. Avoid talking, coughing, humming, rustling programs or kicking the backs of the seats during the performance.
- Refrain from wearing strong perfume for the comfort of surrounding theatre patrons.
- Remain in your seat until the performance has ended completely, curtain calls have concluded and the house lights have been turned on.
- Use common sense and common courtesy at all times.
Attending an evening at the ballet can be a moving, memorable experience, you may be sitting next to a balletomane patron or a novice to ballet. Each experience is unique and special to it’s owner and should be respected.
Written by; Vicki Attard