Seasonal Reflections: the Annual Ballet Concert

Balet Concert 2012
Ballet Concert 2012

In the last month leading up to Christmas, life gets hectic and that, dear readers, is an understatement. Midst all the hoo-ha, congested roads, break ups and shopping frenzy sits the ‘Annual Ballet Concert.’ Many loving parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and assorted others will have attended, or been roped into attending, at least one of these concerts in their lifetime, some out of duty and others out of sheer delight. I sit somewhere between these two sentiments. I have attended most of my granddaughters’ annual concerts over the years but managed to dodge a couple due to quick getaways conveniently pre-planned by Mr Tranquillo. Mr T, who is quite musical but missed out on the dancing gene, finds them a little more tedious than I do, although he sits up eagerly with delight when one of his own granddaughters hits the stage, craning his neck to get a better view.

Another ballet recruit. Daisy with Lottie, ballet Concert 2013.
Another ballet recruit. Daisy with Lottie, ballet concert 2013.

While these events are professional, with fabulous sound and costumes, well rehearsed prima donnas, held in vast, plush theatres owned by private schools (your taxes at work), my total admiration and respect goes to a couple of attendees, the parents of my son-in-law, Kerry and Robyn. Their unbroken tally now sits at 33 years of annual ballet concerts. Kerry, with a touch of irony intermingled with pride, explained further. He attended his own two daughters’ ballet concerts starting in 1982, but now that the eldest is principal of her own dance school, his participation has escalated over the years to helping backstage and with props. As 6 of his grandchildren also learn ballet, his involvement over the last 8 years has stretched to at least three concerts per year, making a total of 49 annual ballet concerts. Now that is dedication! Kerry and Robyn, take a bow. You deserve a medal.

Lottie: backstage adjustments. a touch of Degas.
Lottie backstage. A touch of Degas.

Have you attended your child’s annual concert this year? Are you a dutiful grandparent, aunt, uncle or friend? Do you feel emotional when your darling comes on stage?  Delight, laughter and tears, pride and occasional embarrassment, pure joy tainted with occasional boredom- that’s a ballet concert.

 

 

 

21 thoughts on “Seasonal Reflections: the Annual Ballet Concert”

    1. Thanks for the alert. Checking now- all 3 are coming up on my browser in a new window. Hope it is working at your end.
      Violin is a fine instrument.The concerts could be ‘interesting’ however.

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  1. The G.O. and I have dubbed ourselves the ‘worst grandparents’… because the grandkids live a couple of hours drive from us it’s the perfect excuse to get out of attending sport and dance concerts. Even as a participating child I hated it… some of the longest afternoons of my life. As much as it pleases me not to be a captive audience for their cameos and those of everyone else’s kids it saddens me too. I remember how much I loved my grandparents attending school functions, and how special those memories are to me.

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    1. When I see the delight of achievement on their faces, and the fact that they learn to work in time with a group and follow instructions carefully, I realise how important these showcase events are for the little ones and how important it is that I participate by attending.
      I had more trouble attending my eldest granddaughter’s footy match- being a bit anti – footy- but I got over that after seeing how much footy helped her confidence and maturity.
      If you live two hours away, you do have a very legitimate excuse for non- attendance.

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    1. Yes thats a good idea. A piano concert can also have its ups and downs, I noticed since the introduction of hip hop dance, the participation of boys in the dance school has increased dramatically.
      Enjoy the the dying swan- I can almost hum along.

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  2. Beautiful photos Francesca. I’m afraid I’m the dutiful watcher, for the most part. Years of having to attend without my husband who traveled for work took away much of the pleasure. But having had a break I must admit I now look forward to the possibility of one day attending a grandchild’s performances.

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  3. I do enjoy watching children perform, in any capacity, on stage. The sense of accomplishment that comes with performing the ballet, however, must be unlike so many other performances.. I’ve lived too far to watch my nephews and nieces perform and the same holds true today for their children. I have been lucky to watch the children of friends, though none in the ballet. Slackers. 🙂

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  4. So is this what I can look forward to when our grandchild arrives soon? I think I’d love it if it was natural, not too competitive and inclusive of all, even the less than ideal! Costumes, homemade from scraps and not a sequence or professionally applied hair do or make up in cooee. That may interest me, maybe… Love the new look too!

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    1. The parents do the makeup. They pay a little extra annually for the costumes so they don’t have to sew at this mad time of the year. The costumes then rotate through a few different ballet schools ( as do the routines/music) so that they get good use. The ballet tries to be inclusive – given the suburbs they are in could preclude a few- and of boys. The only way they have managed to get boys involved is through the introduction of hip-hop, which the girls like to do too.
      The ballet isn’t competetive but it does foster individual exams, based on Ceccetti, a bit like doing your grade piano exams.
      There are different dancing schools around- some of the home grown, little suburb, in the local hall variety are far more natural. Ours do this full on thing thanks to the influence of Kyle’s family who are seriously into it.

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      1. That doesn’t sound too bad. We have a couple of places (dance not ballet) down here that I see from kids at school go to and they resemble that poor little American girl JonBenét…. More about the parents than the childs development I think, but that’s just my outsider looking in view. Love seeing kids trying to put on lipstick! She looks like she has it nailed 🙂

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  5. The putting on of the costumes and lipstick is half the fun for these little ballerinas, most of whom will never have the talent required to go on and perform as adults in a ballet company. I think this is good for them and gives them a taste for the stage and the fun of dressing up. It’s a real experience for them. My grandson who started to learn ballet at 6 could do the splits sideways and showed great promise but he disliked being the only boy in the class and the stigma in Australia attached to boys doing ballet, so he gave up – a good man lost! I think boys should be encouraged with incentives to stay on otherwise the girls will have no partners.

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