Washington Ballet

We haven’t been to the ballet in a while. Tonight our friend Becky joins us.

She arrives just after I’ve finished vacuuming, just as she always does, before I’m finished dressing. We enjoy a wonderful early dinner and a couple bottles of wine. Then coffee. Then we’re off to the Kennedy Center for the Washington Ballet in something called the Bach/Beatles Project. It sounds perfectly dreadful.

First up is State of Wonder, choreographed by artistic director Septime Weber. Music is the Goldberg Variations, some of it recordings of Glenn Gould, other parts played onstage by a pianist and a harpsichordist. There’s the aria, twenty-nine variations, and the aria da capo. The dancing is very modern-influenced, but I find it beautiful, at turns moving and haunting and exhilarating.

The second program is Always, No Somtimes, choreographed by choreographer in residence Trey McIntyre. Dawn and Becky enjoy it, but I hate hate hate it. First, they use the actual Beatles recordings themselves, which is distracting. I’ve heard all these songs a million times, so they have meaning in and of themselves apart from what’s being presented and interpreted. As opposed to the Glenn Gould recordings, which I know of, but I don’t especially know. And then the Beatles songs lean more towards the Beatles’ later period (four songs are from the White Album) and are also somewhat McCartney heavy, neither of which things pleases me much. And the dancing is vaguely reminiscent of musical production numbers, gangs of dancers running to the beat or standing & tapping to the beat. Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da is especially loathesome, although Wild Honey Pie might be worse if it weren’t so incredibly short.

That Erin Mahoney-Du has a hell of a lot of charisma, though. And she’s nine feet tall. She’s been my favorite since Emily Vonne SoRelle left. Well, I like Elizabeth Gaither. And Runqiao Du, I like him too. None of these are Dawn’s favorites, but she knows a lot more about ballet.

There are a ton of dishes to do when we get home. Dawn takes great pity on me and helps me.