I had a choice between going to the pub to watch SA play Wales in a rugby test match while drinking copious amounts of beer and joining my friend to watch the Cape Junior Ballet. Since roughly 99% of South African men I know would have opted for the rugby I chose to buck the trend and see the ballet. What a great choice. As I sat down in my seat, I looked around and noticed the general lack of men in the audience. There were a few younger guys with their girlfriends but the middle-aged South African man was not going to miss watching the Bokke for a bunch of dancers in tights. You can probably guess what happened. I was expecting to be a bit bored and to vow never to make such a silly choice ever again. Instead I was riveted. The dancers knocked my socks off, and if the other patrons had stood up to give them a standing ovation at the end I would have joined in. “Bravo!” I wanted to say.
“They’re brilliant!” I gushed to the woman next to me. “World class – and the tickets were only R50.” There were about 26 dancers from 10 to 16 years (although some looked a little older) and they were energetic, graceful, beautiful, athletic and very comfortable in their bodies. They made me want to be 16 again and to prance around like, well, a dancer. Or at least to hang out with the pretty dancing girls.
“How do they manage to stand on point like that?” I asked the middle-aged woman next to me, who has been coming to these things for 20 years. “My toes are sore just from looking at them.”
“They soak them in methylated spirits” was the suprising answer.
Speaking of cool ballet, this is the Royal Ballet of Flanders in their acclaimed production of “Impressing the Czar”. And you should definitely check out the
rugby ballet video on YouTube. It’s brilliant.