31.12.12

backstage at the ballet

I feel that I should be writing something reflective here specifically to close out the year, but it turns out that 2012 will end much of the way 2012 went, that is, with my mind in a constant gallop, never pausing to stop. It was a good year, though, and I hope to reflect on it and the future privately over the next few days.

I want to thank all of you for reading, for your kind comments, and support. I wish you all the best in 2013. So, so much love to you. I can’t help but have Kate Bush in my head tonight:

I just know that something good is gonna happen
I don't know when
But just saying it could even make it happen.


These photos are completely unrelated to everything that I’ve written above, but they’re quiet and ghosty in a way that I feel is appropriate for the last night of a big year. A few weeks ago Geoff & some friends & I went to see the National Ballet’s performance of Giselle, which was so beautiful. We happen to have a friend who works in the costume department, and he was lovely enough to take us backstage for a little tour after the show. Since the bulk of the costume work is done off-site, it was mostly laundry machines and wigs and some still-sweaty tutus, but it was such a privilege. I asked him, wide-eyed, how much he loved his job.


Giselle’s costume



Parts of the costumes were appropriated from a production from the 1960s, and some of the older skirts had handpainted details.


Veils of the wilis


Giselle’s tomb


The photos below are far, far more incredible than my snapshots, but I wanted to share them here because they are so incredible. They were taken by Daniel Neuhaus for a Toronto Life feature on Giselle rehearsals. They really make me wish I could go back and see it again, and this time not from the very last row in the Four Seasons Centre (the seats that come with a vertigo warning. Not bad for $25, but I can dream of seeing a ballet from a little closer up...).

So many flower crowns! Obviously this is the ballet for me.













48 comments:

  1. these are amazing, so dreamy and magical. i think giselle is playing down here in sydney now, i feel like i should treat myself to go! happy new year anabela!

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    1. Happy new year, and if you can, you must!

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  2. Wow, what amazing pictures!!!

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  3. The photos are lovely! Happy New Year :)

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  4. This is beautiful.

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  5. i love these!
    thank you and i wish you a wonderful 2013!

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  6. Happy New Year Anabela! Have loved peeking inside the world of all things Fieldguided this year. Always so much grace.

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    1. So lovely of you to say. Thank you.

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  7. Oh wow - Giselle is one of my favourite ballets and this production looks so beautiful! Those costumes and flower crowns ... <3

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  8. holy crap! i'm into flower crowns too. i'm not too into the ballet but i could really appreciate the costume design. the veils! oh my...

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  9. gorgeous! Happy New Year to you!

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  10. I saw Giselle as well, but from Ring 3. The ticket price is more but so worth it. A treat to look forward to each year.
    Happy New Year to you and yours! Your wedding photos were so beautiful Thanks for sharing them!

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    1. Thank you! I think this year I will try for ring 3, at least once...

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  11. Happy new year and all the best for 2013!!!

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  12. Agh. AAAAHHH. So beautiful. I went to see Sleeping Beauty - also in a seat with a vertigo warning! My friend and I were so disappointed by the costumes - it had been modernised and the dancers were wearing hoodies and jeans and even in one case - chinos. We were slightly devastated and vowed to see a "proper" ballet in the next month with flower crowns, pointe shoes and tulle. This, THIS is what I want to see. And happy new year love.

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    1. Ooooh no! I would not have enjoyed that! Happy new year to you and Lola! x

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  13. The BEST way to ring in the new year!

    x missdottidee.blogspot.com

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  14. Beautiful pics, Anabela!!!!
    Happy New Year to you, G, O and P!
    xoxoxo

    p.s. Is it cake time yet? heeheeheeeee sssshhhh.......

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    1. Always cake time! Happy new year, dear Charlyn!

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  15. Such beautiful and dreamy images! Happy 2013 :)

    http://razzdazzle.blogspot.mx/

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  16. love love LOVE Daniel's photography.... he always makes the most beautiful things even moreso.
    am dying to get to this... so jealous to hear you got a backstage tour too! glad you enjoyed the show :)

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  17. Wonderful pictures of the ballet, just beautiful! Happy 2013 to you, I enjoyed your blog this year and all you share.

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  18. I'm not sad to see 2012 go, really. On with the next year!

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  19. The fantasy world of a ballerina, it looks so magical and delights the senses of our inner child. Though I understand the politics and hard work, theres still that little girl in me that gets filled with wonder!

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    1. For sure. I recently saw a picture of a ballerina's feet and it was pretty harsh, but it made me appreciate the illusion they are able to create all the more...

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  20. These photos are great. I would seriously buy prints of some of these. Well done!

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  21. What a treat to be able to go backstage - these images are lovely!

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  22. Ohhh! Giselle is so dreamy and so tragic. I love those photos of the ballet - both yours and the ones from Daniel Neuhaus. The backstage franticness, and the mix of beauty and pain, and all that tulle, makes ballet an excellent photo subject. I miss actually doing it so much though.

    Also: that Kate Bush quote is the most beautiful thing. Good to remember. And now I'm going to go listen to that song a few times...

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    1. Thank you! I really love hearing your thoughts on ballet since you have such a profound knowledge of it.

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  23. Simply beautiful!! Makes me want to go see it!

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  24. Best Kate Bush quote. And gorgeous photos!

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  25. Stunning photos! What a treat it must have been to sneak about backstage! Happy New Year!

    (Now I've got Kate in my head too! You seem to have that effect on people, just catching a glimpse of your totes on the subway sends me through whole albums in my head.)

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    1. Happy new year! And I love that! I love being a Kate Bush carrier!

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  26. These photos made me emotional, haha. So beautiful. I love the image of the veiled dancer.

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  27. Completely magical!

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  28. Wow, amazing photographs. I took ballet classes for about 15 years, but I had to quit.. This makes me very emotional :)
    xo Charlotte

    aliceroxy

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  29. last year, I was living in Copenhagen and had the wonderful opportunity to go see the Royal Danish Ballet many times, including a beautiful performance of Giselle. I fell in love with the costumes, the music, and the leggy dancers so much that I'm trying my hand at beginner classes this week. I quit taking lessons when I was 5 but I think that my current love of soft pink leather shoes and a perfect bun will help me persevere for the duration of these classes.

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  30. These are beautiful.

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  31. We recently did a production of giselle! Central Ohio Youth Ballet is a small company but it was pretty spectacular. It was one of the most amazing experiances of my entire life! Seeing my fellow dancers in the wili costume and makeup was slightly frightening backstage..(= These pictures of set and costumes are stunning. I'm jealous that you got to see them.Thanks for sharing them!

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