It was the final performance of Swan Lake at the San Francisco Ballet last night and also my very first ballet ever (unless you count watching Center Stage on HBO GO a shitload of times, which you shouldn't) and my mind was B-L-O-W-N BLOWN. First of all, the War Memorial Opera House is a mammoth, breathtaking cathedral slash palace but built in the name of art instead of Jesus or royalty or whatever. Also, everybody was dressed to the nines and as Bevan and I made our way to our seats I couldn’t help but notice that there were so many different languages contributing to the house's delirious buzz. The entire experience was exactly how I imagined it would have been had I gone to a ballet in, say, 1889. The sets were huge, one of which featured a massive polished boulder like you'd find while walking around Central Park, the company consisted of no less than fifty dancers and over the course of four acts there were two very lengthy intermissions when many smartly-dressed people went to the "buffet" in the basement to sit at white, linen-covered tables and drink champagne while nibbling adorable sandwiches and chocolate-covered strawberries. Oh, and some people even had those little golden goggles on a stick. Ha!
By the time the show was over I'd spent three full hours basically crapping my pants (read: being awestruck AF) because of what the dancers could do with their ripped, gorgeous bods. After all of the important characters had died in the name of love or for being the bad guy and the dancers came out to bow people in the audience actually shouted “Bravo!” and threw long-stemmed roses at their feet. Yes, that actually happened in real life. Oh, and the two principle dancers, the ones who played Odette and Prince Siegfried, are married to each other in real life and last night was their final performance before they move to Pennsylvania to start a ballet school or something so everyone who wasn't a total ballet virgin like me got super emotional and cried when they embraced on stage for the final time.