Where do artists, directors, writers get their inspirations? When the 2019-2020 ballet season was posted last Spring for the Kennedy Center two coveted companies jumped out at me. Bolshoi Ballet has not toured in Washington DC in over 10 years and the Mariinsky Ballet which comes every year to the Kennedy Center. I saw Paquita yesterday afternoon and momentous would be the first word to come to mind. It brings back the Russian nobility in its heyday and that money cannot buy one happiness. Paquita is a nobleman’s daughter taken as a small child by a band of travelling gypsies. They train Paquita as a dancer to make money. She meets Andres, the son of an officer who falls for Paquita. She tells Andres to prove his love for her he must travel with them for two years performing which he does. Andres is taught the customs and way of life that Paquita grew up with unbeknownst to either one Paquita is actually from nobility. In the end love conquers all and yes the couple get married.
Besides the acrobatic style of dance from both the men and women in this repertoire were the ten girls and boys who practically steal the second half of the show as they dance together so poised and mature at 10 and 11 years old that we the audience just gazed in amazement at how in unison, disciplined, and professional these children performed a circle dance. I loved that most of the girls were several inches taller than the boys! The ballet had a 15 minute standing ovation at the end and as I told my friend last night when she asked me “how was the ballet” I said I got emotional ala Queen of the Mist. This story may seem trite and old fashion to many but I think the purpose of this selection was to celebrate old world love of romance. It made me long to jump up on stage and pirouette.