Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jon Goes to the Ballet

Yes, that's right. Last night I went to the ballet, willingly. I don't normally go to the ballet, and the only experience with it that I can really think of is The Nutcracker in Boston. They took us when we were in elementary school and I remember enjoying it, but then again, watching people prance around in tutu's isn't exactly my cup of tea, so I've never been back.

But last night at Teatro Sucre, the local hospital was having a fundraiser/benefit sort of ballet performance for children with Cancer, and I'm all about supporting that cause, so I ponied up the money and went for the ride. The performers were dance students at the University of Cuenca, and two shows were put on at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.

Along with me were my host sister and a few of her friends, and we wound up sitting in the third row, which kind of worried me at first. It was a long day of work, and I was afraid of nodding off and angering the ballerinas. As I usually do when I'm bored, I think of Simpsons episodes in my head and silently laugh to myself to kill the time. As I sat in the third row I kept thinking of an episode when Homer takes Lisa to the ballet and is eating a sandwich in the first row. He passes out and wakes up to find Lisa yelling at him for snoring and bothering the performers. He then wonders what happened to his sandwich.

Every couple of minutes this made me laugh and I had to keep myself from losing control. Then I thought of another episode when Bart becomes a ballet dancer. When the school finds out, the kids mock him and run him out of town. I thought how funny it would be if there was an Ecuadorian Nelson Muntz, maybe one of my students, who saw me there and laughed at me.

The first act was pretty weird. It was some kind of interpretive dance, and it really just confused all of us. The second act was a little better, but only because the music was nice to listen to. Four or five girls kept running around and then playing dead on the floor. This was the same theater that I saw the SodaStereo tribute concert in on Saturday, and I wondered about the accoustics in the place, as it's one of Cuenca's oldest theaters.

The third act was probably the best because people were hanging from ropes and twirling around. There were some oddly dressed jesters and pirates, followed by a shower of confetti and bubbles. The performance lasted about an hour and a half, and though I wouldn't say it was great, it wasn't terrible either. And since it was for charity, I'm not gonna bang down doors asking for money back. So there it is, I've gone to the ballet on my own accord. I had to go to the 3rd World to get some culture.

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