Good morning, and a very merry Sunday to you! I’ve just put the kettle on. Do you take sugar?
Last night a friend and I went to a dance performance at Sadler’s Wells. My friend is a ballerina and all-round dance expert, whereas my knowledge of dance extends as far as the Macarena, so the experience was a new one for me.
When we left the theatre after the show, I genuinely had no idea what I thought of the piece. I have never, ever left a theatre without having formed a strong opinion on what I’ve just seen, so I was a bit discombobulated by this turn of events. As far as I could see, the show was an extremely well-executed performance of the bleep test, combined with some energetic writhing. That is not an insult to the show or the performers in any way; I’m sure that to a fan of dance the piece was extraordinary. But I am not a dance fan. I’m a words girl. I can’t feel anything about a show that doesn’t have any words in it.
Bizarrely, the friend I saw the show with had the opposite view. To quote her directly, “I don’t want to hear words. Tell me the story with your bodies!” This confuses me slightly because she did a Drama degree…the same one that I did, in fact, which is how we met. And there were, as I recall, a fair few words involved in that.
I love going to the theatre with people whose views are so different to mine. I have a friend whom I go to the theatre with quite regularly, and we nearly always agree on what we like and dislike about performances, which is great. It’s always nice to have your opinions validated by someone you like and respect. But it’s also a lot of fun to expose yourself to the weird and wonderful, and to try to see something you care about (i.e. performance) through someone else’ eyes. I’m not saying that everyone should love every genre of performance, but it’s good to challenge ourselves a bit from time to time. Go and see that show you’re not so sure about, or read that book that’s had mixed reviews.
But first, have a coffee and relax a bit. It is Sunday, after all.