Vitesse at the Sydney Opera House

So several months ago Lucie and I were in my living room and an intense wave of FOMO (fear of loosing out) struck us. It hit us that our time in Australia was coming to an end, and that there was no saying in when we might return again! We sat down and made a list of things we wanted to do with our remaining time, and one of them was go see a performance at the Sydney Opera house. Suddenly we were on the Opera House’s main page, skimming through operas and ballets, and then suddenly we found a ballet performance that suited us both in terms of dates and price and we just sort of got carried away in the moment and suddenly it was booked! We had actually no idea what we were going to see in terms of ballet, the description was very vague and written in the classic only-other-extremely-artistic-or-upper-class-people-would-have-understood, extravagant way about emotions and movement. That was part of the fun though, not knowing what to expect! Just over a month later the day arrived. We dressed up in our fancy attire and headed into Sydney on the train in the late afternoon for the 7.30 pm show! On route I wore my sad looking trainers to minimize the pain of wearing heals/shocking my ankles and leg muscles after my break, and only put them on on a bench on Circular Quay when the Opera House was in view. We grabbed a quick bite to eat from one of the Asian stores on Circular Quay, getting the last-minute closing down offers.

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In entering the Opera house a lovely rush of elegance and decorum that surrounds places like the theatre fell upon me. I was taken back to the days when I used to hang out quite regularly in performance buildings like these and watch all the sophisticated ladies and gents enter through the doors, beaming in excitement for a night of elegant entertainment, as we were getting ready to go on stage with the orchestras and my choir. After recieving our tickets we headed towards our seats in the Joan Sutherland Theatre, the second largest theatre venue of the entire Opera House complex. Excitement levels continued to rise as we walked up the red carpeted stairs under the magnificent steel framed glass curtain walls that curved over us, the view outside of a lit up city and Harbour Bridge. We entered into the theatre, found our seats in the upper circle. Eventually the lights dimmed and the orcestas subtle tuning and last minute personal rehearsals dimmed down, and the performance began. There were three separate contemporary choreographed performances, each with a little breaks in between. The first performance was Forgotten lands by Jiři Kylián, was a beautiful piece with swirling dresses and fluid movement, inspired by Edvard Munchs paintings and set to Benjamin Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem. I couldn’t tell you specifically what was going on, but loss, yearning and mourning was definitely a theme. The second piece, William Forsythe’s In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, was definitely my favourite, already making me actually jump in my seat from their loud, full on introduction. It was worded as explosive, dangerous and electronic in it’s description, and I definitely agree on that!  The piece is famous for furthering ballet technique, and it did not disappoint! Aggressive and elegant movements were entangled together in a full on display, the technique and timing absolutely flawless. On several occasions the performance genuinely took my breath away. It was more rebellious than the last performance, that stayed truer to traditional form of absolute poise and ridigness. In this piece however, the dancers could be seen moving across stage in a more freely manner, less poised, more aggressive and human like. The music was edgy and electronic, the dancing was stunning, and the emotions I felt from it all were undeniable. The final piece, Christopher Wheeldon’s Danse à grande vitesse, was a bit of a disappointment. Not for any particular reason, but mainly because it had to follow on from The middle performance, so it didn’t really have a fair chance. y eyes. This piece was about travel, journey and living in the moment, and the way it was choreographed was incredibly clever, giving a real sense of “floating through time and space”.

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Suddenly the lights were back on, clapping and whistling was taking place, and then we were heading out of the theatre. No time to loose, I found the first bench I could find and swapped out my painful heals for flats again, before running to catch the train back to Wollongong.

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