Get to the Pointe!

Lady Moss has much to thank So You Think You Can Dance for……

Last night Mossy and I attended The Australian Ballet Company’s production of Romeo and Juliet choreographed by Graeme Murphey. My darling husband bought me the tickets as a welcome back to Sydney present when we finally moved home to the land of all things open after 7pm.

After the requisite preshow champagne we climbed the formidable House staircase to the Opera Theatre. As we climbed higher and higher the more the well dressed people disappeared into stage doors. We were left alone with the ancient usher advising us to climb to the very top and walk the red carpet. My ears perked up at this, red carpet? Perhaps door 30 led to some private box hidden away from the crowds below.

Sadly for Lady Moss tonight was not the night for preferential treatment. It had became evident that we were alone on the stairs not because we had our own liveried footman awaiting our arrival with curtained seats and binoculars (mine are broken!) we were alone because B Section doesn’t stand for blue blood anymore, no, it means Bogan. Apparently they like to arrive early, who knew!

Apart from the odd glare of disdain, it was all Lady Moss could do to enjoy the performance with all the ghastly behaviour going on around us. It is with this in mind that I have devised a set of rules. Not that any of you dear readers should ever need, but one never knows what can be googled these days.

  1. Dress Up. Like really dress up. If sequinned swaths of silk designed by Akira don’t inspire you to don a floaty frock and heels then read no more. You will not find help here. Futhermore, any male partners should be correctly attired. At the very least tidy jeans, collared shirt and dark sports coat however, I feel a suit is more appropriate, as does Lord Moss so I’m not the only one there. Opening nights, should you be so lucky to score tickets call for formal wear, full length gowns and tuxedos are entirely a proper mode of dress. Why not drag that sweeping, backless number and velvet opera cloak out of the back of your wardrobe surely it deserves an outing as much as you do?
  2. Do you really need Malteasers? Its not the cinema, surely you can not eat for a few hours? And if not at least have the curtesy to open any plastic packaging before the music starts. One doesn’t want crinkling with their quaver.
  3. No hooker skirts. Although I’m thrilled you are wearing underwear, I’d rather not see it.
  4. All theatres are over airconditioned and by the second act will have even the stoutest coughing. If you don’t want to be the one everybody is trying to ignore I’d suggest bringing water. And a tissue. When the lights go down and you are in the middle of the row I can guarantee you will need one.
  5. Do not expect dialogue or walk out of the theatre complaining that you couldn’t understand it. (sidenote: it was Romeo & Juliet people did you not go to school? Cmon!!!)Do a little research prior to the performance if you are a need to know what is going on viewer. If, like Lady Moss you enjoy being swept away by the poetry of the ballet a quick program glance should suffice.
  6. Fidgeting, shuffling of feet and whispering when you are one of a thousand is just plain annoying. Yes it goes for three hours, surely you can sit still for that long.
  7. To the group of twenty five year olds behind us in row L. Next year please go somewhere else for your Christmas party. It may seem like a good idea at the time, but listening to you snigger whenever a male dancer in tights danced onto the stage was tiresome to begin with, gut wrenchingly annoying by Act Two. And calling out “yeah bitchslap her” when Lady Montague fights Lady Capulet? Took some restraining on Mossy’s behalf to stop moi from turning around and slapping you myself. There were children in the audience better behaved than you.
  8. Mobile Phones. Do I really need to mention this? Clearly I do. Turn them off. Do not play with them, send texts or check facebook during the performance like the girl in row K, left of us did. The mother in me has become more human these days so I understand that not all of us can entirely switch off, so a little tip. Go into your phone settings and turn all sound off, message vibrations, email, diary notes, alarms etc. then lower your screen light to its darkest setting. Occasionally at the end of a scene, while everyone is sitting forward applauding, hunch over and check your phone under the seat to ease your concern that no one has tried to reach you, the house isn’t on fire and the cat hasn’t been locked in the dryer. During intermission a quick phone home will ease your mind that the children are asleep in bed and you can entirely relax.
  9. And finally, my number one top tip to ensure others around you enjoy themselves and therefore you yourself? Do not, really, please do not comment on how much the principal dancer reminds you of one of last year’s SYTYCD contestants. You will sound like an idiot, a few episodes does not a ballet critique make. Lady Moss broke her own rule about sniggering here, I just couldn’t help myself. Trust me, if a reality TV contestant could dance like the female lead in one of the world’s primary ballet company’s she would be.

If you think Lady Moss is out of line you could be right. Remember though, these artists spend up to eighteen hours a day prior to a performance tirelessly perfecting their craft. I’m a traditionalist at heart and I show the dancers the respect they deserve no matter how far back we sit. The fact that I am overly sensitive to crowds causes Mossy no end of frustration, poor darling, he probably has his own set of rules covering Lady Moss’ annoying behaviour. If  you ask nicely dear reader he may share them with you.



Note: No offense meant to So You think You Can Dance, or to its viewing audience is sincerely meant. We in fact occasionally watch the program and are thrilled that more people appreciate the art form. We just wish they wouldn’t pronounce themselves as experts in the middle of the real thing. Save it for the couch at home.

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