Thursday, March 31, 2005

Swan Lake

We went to see the ballet Swan Lake at the Opera House here in Lviv (this was actually a couple weeks ago). It was the first time I'd actually been inside the Opera House, though I'd walked past it a million times. It's very pretty and ornate inside, including a room with walls covered with mirrors. We had one of those semi-private side balcony things to sit in (like what President Lincoln was shot in), so that was cool. The show was nice - I don't know anything about ballet so I don't have anything to say about the dancing, really. We played parts of the score in orchestra in high school, so I was more interested in the music. Unfortunately there was no orchestra that night, they used canned music. We weren't quite sure why this was, Maria said something about the conductor being in failing health. My favorite part, though, was the set. They had really cool/beautiful drapey multi-colored cloth for the background, with distant castles and viney forests painted on it for context. And they had these cool sculptures as part of the castle interior - they were like some kind of wire wound around into spherical-like shapes, with other pieces of metal and cloth and things stuck in them. Some were stuck on spear-like things as castle decor, and others were hung from the ceiling as candelabras.

So before the last act we were looking at the program and discussing the story. I was telling a Ukrainian girl with us that the swan dies at the end, that it's this famous scene. She insisted the swan didn't die. Then we watched the show and the swan didn't die! She got to become human again and marry the prince! The other Americans and I were a little surprised. Someone suggested that perhaps this country had had enough suffering, so it was alright for them to change a tragedy into a happy ending.

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