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New Wave City
The theme for the evening was Night at the Casbah, a tribute to the Clash.
Karen and I dressed in safari-esk clothes: khakis, white shirts, vests,
boots. We met up with Bridget and Gina at the venue on King Street.

Sadly the music was a little off. Songs didn't really segue smoothly one to
the other and there was never a long string of songs that I recognized.
Then again, sometimes the D.J.s do like to wax eclectic. That's the way the
dancing goes sometimes.

Anyway, at midnight a group of Belly Dancers came on and swayed for our
entertainment. Then in the coolest moment of the evening, we all, and I
mean the Belly Dancers too, danced to "Rock the Casbah." Excellent.

Afterwards, we went to Mel's (well there just aren't that many places to
get food at midnight) and had a little post dancing snack before heading

Sleeping Beauty Ballet

As part of our ongoing desire to take advantage of the cultural opportunities in the Bay Area, Crystal and I bought tickets to a matinee of the San Francisco Ballet's production of Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty. We dressed (of course) in appropriate snazy suits (I even wore the hat that I bought in Paris - one of these days we'll remember to take pictures). 

The performace was stunning. Each dancer moved with grace, power, and lyric beauty. In particular, the Prince and Sleeping Beauty, defied gravity and created a clear sense of emotion with their movements. Also the Puss in Boots dancers were amazing. If cats danced ballet, that is exactly what they would look like. 

The costumes were gorgeous and the whole production had a deep sense of romanticism and elegance. The opening scenes, set in Russia before Peter the Great, shimmered with deep amber and gold tones while the later scenes (100 years later) are full of light, frothy Louis XIV style in pastels with gold and silver lace. 

The ballet combines elements of both the Charles Perrault and Brothers Grimm versions of the fairy tale with a few plot points all of its own, for example the Violet Fairy (good fairy) shows the prince a vision of the sleeping princess and then leads him to her through the magical forest. It was easy to follow the action of the story since it is one that everybody knows well. 

And of course, there is the music. Tchaikovsky is really hard to beat when it comes to romance, grandeur, and beauty. In fact, the program said it even better:

The score of The Sleeping Beauty has come to be the one against which all others are measured: for the breadth of the music; for its grandeur; for its drama; for the movement, the "danciness" inherent in the melodies; for its suggestion of character; for its thrilling orchestration; for its sheer beauty. In 1921, Igor Stravinsky wrote, "The convincing example of Tchaikovsky's great creative power is, beyond all doubt, the ballet of The Sleeping Beauty."
While we very much enjoyed their production of Nutcracker, the SF Ballet's Sleeping Beauty took our breath away. I wished for a moment that I was ten years old, like the little girl who exited the theater just ahead of us, so I too could dance down the stairs in a pink leotard and ruby slippers holding mom's hand and dreaming of prince charming.
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