The St Petersburg BalletBy Dave • February 9th, 2008
A quick warning - I don’t think there’s any such thing as “The St Petersburg Ballet”, as in “The Moscow State Circus”. But we were in St Petersburg, and it was the ballet. What do you want from me?
Visiting Russia without dropping in on the ballet, Iâ€™ve decided, would be similar to visiting your Granny and not having tea and biscuits. Or like going to London and not trying a pint of Fullers. It doesnâ€™t matter if you like it or not â€“ when youâ€™re at somethingâ€™s spiritual home, itâ€™s bad manners not to bother.
That’s enough torturing of analogies. The ballet is one of the most expensive things to do in Russia. 3,000 rubles each is nigh on Â£60, so it was with some worry that we made our way to the Marinnskiy theatre. Â£120 is a lot of money, after all. What if it was dull? Boring? Slow? Endless?
All of these were possibilities.
Hereâ€™s something to think about. A few months ago we went to see Les Miserables in London. It cost us Â£40 each, and we were high up enough that we were occasionally troubled by passing passenger jets. The actors were tiny dots, and the dialogue was delivered to us by a series of loudspeakers that must have relied on hundreds of miles of cable.
In return for our 3,000 rubles, we sat three rows from the orchestra pit at the Marinnskie. The only way we could have been closer would have been if we played an instrument.
Dave wrote this on the overnight train between St Petersburg and Moscow. A word of warning â€“ donâ€™t cross between cars in your socks. Itâ€™s wet out there.Tags: biscuits, hundreds of miles, les miserables, moscow state circus, overnight train, passenger jets, pint, rubles, russians, st petersburg ballet, swan lake