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Raymonda: Tonight's the Night! (blog 5)

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In that picture of the Kennedy Center Opera House, I'm sitting on the floor on the left side, 3 rows away from the pit. I'll have great sound besides a great view, I think. I'm gonna be in the thick of the crowd!

A friend of mine posted on Facebook that she had gone to see Raymonda last night, and she was raving about it. I had no idea any of my other friends knew about this ballet! Anyhow, we chatted about it, and she said she loved everything about it, so that's a good sign that I will too!

It is a foggy, moderately cold day, and will warm up and turn into thunderstorms tonight, severe ones even. I woke up earlier than usual this morning with a dream that I was going to be late, badly dressed, and emotionally unprepared. Hah! Really now? Well, that goes to show how much I've been thinking about this day. I still can hardly imagine it. I mean, I've gone to see Swan Lake before in the same theater, in the balcony, and it was quite a treat. I enjoyed the music, the stunning visuals, and the dancing. I do remember some things that I wasn't prepared for though. For example, the dancing isn't silent. You hear the feet hitting the ground pretty well, even from the balcony. As much as I'm having a great spot on the floor, I hope the dancing won't be disruptive in and of itself. I really want to focus on the music.

I'm also concerned for the music performance. I'm really picky about how Glazunov is performed, and I'm kinda expecting to be let down a few times, not by shoddy playing (as they are an excellent professional theater orchestra) but that the interpretations aren't what I like. I can only hope it won't effect my overall mood. It's a Russian conductor, but we will see if I approve of him.

I also wonder at the fact that the Mariinsky Ballet has had calls to boycott its productions in the US. I saw people doing that on Facebook on the Kennedy Center page, because it's associated with Gergiev who supposedly supports Putin. It grieves me to think that Glazunov would be snubbed in the process, that he would be ultimately be the victim of such hostility. Not that it's anything new to his contemporary reputation to be shunned, but I really hate when music gets muddled by politics. Glazunov was apolitical as a person and his music was apolitical, and I think it should stay that way. If we will boycott Russian performers, the least we can do as Americans is perform their music for them. I'd love to see a professional American ballet company perform Raymonda one day...

Negative thoughts aside, the routine for today: I will be leaving my home around 4:30PM, as it takes about an hour total to get to the theater through a series of car rides and metro trips. I will get here hopefully with more than an hour to spare, and there I may get something to eat and drink. I won't be having a whole dinner there, but I'll definitely get a little drink. I'll also be taking pictures of what I can! As it will be rainy, I won't want to go outside and walk in the Kennedy Center stone courtyard, I think.

It's going to be nearly sold out tonight! It's also almost sold out ever other night too. People will also buy tickets tonight, so that might fully sell out the seats. Imagine that! Sold out for Glazunov! Well not really, sold out for Mariinsky But being a less common ballet sometimes draws more fans since people can get tired of Tchaikovsky. Anyhow, 7PM the performance starts, with 15 minute intermission later, I believe. Thus, the whole night will total to about 3 hours, ending around 10PM. I probably won't get home until 11-11:30PM, and I'll probably be in such a sorry state that I won't say anything here. I will give another blog tomorrow to talk about my impressions of the ballet, my overall experience.

You see, I still can't exactly predict how I will react. When I heard Prokofiev Cinderella excerpts live a couple years ago, I was in a daze for days afterwards. Grinning, weeping, all of that. I've never heard orchestral Glazunov live. It's one thing to have heard recordings of Raymonda all these years... but to hear the live sound, that may do more than I can psychologically handle. Anyhow, I expect to react about the same way as I did at the Prokofiev concert, where I'm generally nuts the whole time, but depending on the segment, I will laugh or cry. I know I'll cry at least a few times, and I have a good guess where...

Did you know that Glazunov has made me cry more than any other composer in the last 8 years? I use to keep count how many times I sobbed (simply tearing up would be double that count!), and Raymonda already has made me cry before. But I don't cry very much anymore. It was those initial times I heard his music that I cried, and then I got over it. But I'm pretty sure that listening to this ballet live will make me legitimately weep all over again, and on the train back home, and for days later. It just will. Am I ready for that, to be ripped apart? Yes. And I will be eternally grateful for it.

So... I guess it's time to meet him... *gulp*

A crown for my shining knight! <3

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