Happy New Year! I know I’m a bit late but have been having some time off everything over the festive season. But am back now.
A few days ago a neighbour knocked at our door brandishing two tickets to see the Tchaikovsky ballet, The Nutcracker, at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. They’d booked the tickets a while ago but our neighbours’ boss wanted him, unexpectedly, up in Edinburgh on the day of the ballet. They were able to book new tickets for another day but the terms and conditions of buying the tickets meant that they couldn’t just swap them and the original ones would just be wasted. Hence him being at our door hoping we had time to go. Some rearrangement of my diary and we could.
The ballet was being performed by the Russian State Ballet of Siberia. They operate out of the city of Krasnoyarsk deep in the centre of Siberia. I’d never heard of the city either. The company is a relatively new one only being created in 1978 by dancers from the illustrious ballet companies in Moscow and St. Petersburg. I have been to only a few ballets so can’t really compare but I must say that it was a very enjoyable afternoon.
The weather is cold and clear in Manchester and we are enjoying ice blue skies. These pictures I took from the bar on the top floor of the Bridgewater Hall, it’s surrounded by some of the best architecture in the city with the Midland Hotel across the street and all the strong geometry of the Central Convention Centre and the modern buildings that surround it.
It’s fun to watch the trams pass by below on the busy stretch of track between St Peter’s Square and Deansgate/Castlefield station.
There was a surprisingly large audience for a Wednesday afternoon. It’s amazing how many people have time to spare on a weekday to go the the ballet. A lot of them were older people. And there were a lot of well to do ‘yummy mummies’ from places like Chorlton and Didsbury and Hale Barns with their well dressed children enjoying one of the last treats of the Christmas season. The ballet is set on Christmas Eve and is a treat to look at.
Some pictures of the inside of the Bridgewater Hall. None of the actual performance as the company doesn’t like its work being unofficially recorded which is fair enough. I was amused by the number of older people surfing the net on their state of the art smart phones. It’s not just the province of the young it seems.
The Nutcracker has a very simple story. It’s Christmas Eve. There’s a party. The daughter of the house is given a Nutcracker doll. She creeps down after the party to see the doll and falls asleep. The doll is transformed into a real soldier and there’s a lot of dancing. And music, a lot of which you will know even if it’s from advertisements on TV. Here’s a little video about the ballet company that will give you some idea of what we saw.