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Δευτέρα, 24 Ιουνίου 2013

43 ~ Ανν Ίμποτσον: The Bolshoi Ballet Comes to Poros

Rumours had been running round the island for days, long before the first posters appeared. The older people nodded their heads and talked in a casual way of some dancers coming to Poros, but those of us who had travelled a little gasped, and thought it couldn't possobly be true. Maybe it was something on film, maybe a lecture of some kind. But when the posters did appear in Greek and English and with pictures, it seemed there was no longer any room for doubt.

By some mysterious, unbeleivable, miraculous chance the Boslhoi Ballet was coming to dance on Poros.

The best in the world; first time in their history; for one night only, shouted the posters, and they were right. The island buzzed now and slowly it emerged that this was a personal success for Spiros the mayor. For a whole year he had begged, pleaded and badgered the Russian company, asking that, for the one night that they were non dancing in Athens, they would come and dance on Poros. And, finally, the best contemporary soloists of the Bolshoi had agreed. On 10 August they were coming.

Even after learning all this in somehow seemed too much to hope for, so we watched the carpenters building a stage in front of the new school, watched the electricians wiring up some mega speakers, watched the rows of chairs being put out in the school yard - and still we crossed our fingers and held our breath.


(φωτ: K.)

But miracles really do happen sometimes and so, that nigth of 10 August 1997, I found myself sitting on a hard wooden bench wirggling like a child in anticipation of what was to come. The last rays of light melted away across the sea. The sky turned to its habitual black velvet and thw stars came out in theis hundreds. All around me people chattered away, calling to friends and relations on the other side of the audience and then squeezing together even more tightly to fit in new arrivals.

I held my ground and resisted being pushed off the end of the bench while excited children ran past treading on my toes and grabbing me with ice-cream sticky fingers. There were even two or three stray dogs attracted by the commotion and the possibility of a fallen ice-cream or a half-empty packet of crisos. One in particular sat in front of the stage, gazing in anticipation, while Russian-spaeking stage staff made last-minute adjustments to the lights and called to one another across thw back-drop of thw school buildings, thus adding another dash of excitement to an atmosphere which was already pretty electric by now.


(φωτ: Y.)

Then, with no warning the floodlights came on, thw music belted from the megawatt speakers and the first dancer appeared on stage. It was a programme of mainly solo roles at first, later they performed the duets and some ensemble dancing. The music was loud and not of a great quality and I'm sure the newly built stage left mauch to be desired, but the dancing was superb. Sitting near the edge of the sea on thiw perfect summer's evening with the best of the world's dancers performing there in front of us was something I shall never forget, and I wanted it to go on for ever. Looking round at the faces of those sitting beside me, I sensed they felt the same too. It was lovely to watch them - grandas, grandmas, young people and babies in arms - all there because they loved to dance and to watch other people dance. For some, I'm sure, thw name of the Bolshoi meant nothing, but no matter - this was Art and it was available for everyone, just as it should be. Bravo, Mr. Major.

As the dancers took their bows, we cheered our thanks and the bouquets were handed across. Then the music started again, one of the traditional Greek dances, and they danced that for us. The cheers then must have awakened the gods. It was a generous end to a perfect evening.

Later, as I walked home, I eased one of the posters off its lamp-post. Today it adorns one of the wall of my apartment. I can see it as I write this: 10 August 1997, the day the Bolshoi came to town!

Anne Ibbotson

Coming slowly
Εκδόσεις: Ashgrove Publishing, London, 2006




(φωτ: Y.)

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Δημιουργία Συνδέσμου

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