Thanks to an amazing friend and a large drop of fortitude, I suddenly found myself with two tickets to the Rustaveli Theatre this evening, and was also able to invite one of our OPG Ambassadors who is a brilliant dancer and to my surprise had never been to the theatre before. I had no idea what I was going to see, other than it was something to do with dancing to music by Bach. But after the week from somewhere far from heaven, I was all up for a well needed night off and I’m never one to turn down free tickets, especially since I especially love dance and theatre, and haven’t been since I lived in the village and we were given a week’s free pass to the theatre in Akhalstikhe. Since it was dance, I knew our OPG Ambassador would love it, so I called her up to see if she would be free. This is her dance group, aka ‘The M.E.S.S’:
She immediately knew exactly what the show was and was so excited, I knew it must be something very special. As it turned out, she had seen the dancers for the first time on the Eurovision Song Contest last year, knew everything about them, and told me all about their choreographer, moves, and about their world tour. She had known they were coming to Tbilisi, but never dreamed that she would have the chance to see them. When we arrived at the theatre, she even pointed out the choreographer to me as well as one of Tbilisi’s top choreographers and some other celebs who were there for the show, along with a mix of children and older people, all fanning themselves because of the 30degree or more heat in the city now, some clad in posh frocks, some in more casual clothes, and a wide variety of people, including some children from my old public school who ran up to greet me, which was lovely since I’ve not seen them for a year, and they were super excited and have also grown much taller since I last saw them.
Far from the Cheap Seats
As it turned out, I ended up in a seat away from everyone else, but had no idea that I was probably in the most expensive of seats, and had the last ticket available, in a side box, right by the stage, so that was very exciting, though the young boys near me were not very excited and spent the entire show playing games on ipods and asking when they might be able to go home, so is the divide in affluence and poverty in Georgia, though the boy’s sisters clearly enjoyed the show. Georgian audiences (from my minimal experience in theatres) are always so lively in comparison to British audiences, who remain stiff upper lipped even if they absolutely loved the show, whereas Georgians like to clap, give standing ovations, and will chat and comment throughout and ooh and ahh. Not to the extent of an Indian audience, now that is something I loved in India, especially at the cinema, but certainly much more involved than in England. I wonder how that must feel when you give a world tour of your show? I wonder if audiences react very differently to the same shows, and how that changes the performance or enjoyment for the performers? I’d love to know what they thought of the Georgian audience. Anyway, imagine my surprise as I entered the circle looking for my seat, and the lady quickly ushered me away, and found another lady, who then escorted me to a room, unlocked the door, and allowed me to chose my seat in the box with lovely red velvet chairs that looked like something from a palace, especially in the very beautifully decorated theatre room. Whilst I had an amazing view, I couldn’t help but feel a little undeserved and out of place and exposed as I could see everyone in the theatre, and likewise they could probably see me looking awkward too! How lucky am I!!! And what a brilliant surprise.
I only have two minor complaints from my experiences at theatres in Georgia, but its also a positive in that they are more relaxed than in London for example. Firstly, that people aren’t very good at sitting still, and tend to come and go, and sometimes its really annoying to have the media or whoever it is walking all about the place recording or taking photos throughout the show, and second that they always seem to put the house lights on and off during the show. This seems to detract from the magic of being at the theatre for me, you can’t get lost in what you are watching, or fully relax, before every time you see a camera or the lights go on, you are back in reality and if your of a nervous disposition like me, may be prone to becoming self conscious. At least that’s the way for me as a Brit as we are not supposed to show emotions or expressions and in the dark that’s easy, but there’s nothing more embarrassing than to be caught openly with an expression on your face!!
On with the show
Anyway, I digress. It turns out we were here to see a group called ‘Flying Steps’ or ‘Flying Bach’, sponsored by Red Bull who began in Austria the home of Mozart, confused yet??? When I was in Austria there were a lot of things called ‘Flying Bach’ and also of Red Bull. So perhaps quite appropriate that Red Bull were official sponsors of this tour, hence the Red Bull car parked outside, though unlike other shows on this tour, no Red Bull bar, unless I missed it.
The group come from many countries (Lebanon, Switzerland, France, Germany, Macedonia, Laos, Japan, Netherlands), and are a fusion of ballet and street dance, performed to Bach’s music, and they were absolutely superb. Here’s a clip from the Eurovision song contest last year, to give you a sense of them:
And a promotional feature, in German but still worth a watch even if you don’t speak German.
I’m melting and its too hot to write more, especially with the midges starting to get me, and computer playing up. But, overall verdict was that they were very good, and if you get a chance to see them, then go for for it. Website here: http://www.redbull.com/cs/Satellite/en_INT/Red-Bull-Flying-Bach/001243003657209 Their next show will be from September, starting in Norway, followed by Lebanon, Qatar, UAE, Italy, Sweden, Ukraine, Czech, Japan, Switzerland, and Russia. Fantastic to see these guys performing street dance to Bach classics like Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, and to hear such pieces played on both piano and harpsichord. I bet they all do yoga, and its dead easy for them too! Worth it to see the six packs and wonder at the strength of human anatomy for sure!!!!