While we had the privilege to be in Russia, how could we ever miss attending a Russian ballet, a form of art that Russians are famous for and most proud of!
And so it was that after a most exhilarating day at the Hermitage Museum and half day of exploring the city of Saint Petersburg by ourselves, we returned to the Caribbean Princess for a few hours of refreshment only to leave it again in the evening for a night at the ballet. Of course, in doing so, we also inevitably missed out on the Russian folk performance that was arranged by the Caribbean Princess to entertain its passengers.
Navigating the streets of Saint Petersburg in the evening on our own didn’t sound very safe, Therefore, this was another of those shore excursions that we just had to pay and sign up for. Not surprisingly, many of our fellow passengers also chose to experience the Russian Ballet, so the Caribbean Princess must have been quite empty with most of us off for the evening.
Our entry ticket to the ballet, handed out to us on the bus by the tour guide, with the row and seat number printed on the ticket. Depending on the luck of the draw, you could be either given a very good seat, or one that is the worst in the theatre. We could only find out when we get there.
Most (but not all) of the time, the show that was performed was Swan Lake, one of the most popular and famous ballets in the world, with music composed by the famous Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Much applause and cheers in the bus when our tour operator confirmed that we were indeed going to watch Swan Lake.
We were on the first bus that left the dock, so we were relatively early and the bus driver decided to give us a quick complementary tour of the city before bringing us back to the theatre.
These city scene were so familiar because we were there just a few hours ago!
Here’s the theatre building that we will be watching the ballet.
Foyer of the theatre.
The theatre is actually part of a mall which we could see if we look down from the windows from the waiting area.
This kind of beautiful structure looked just like the ones we saw in the Hermitage Museum earlier in the day!
Time to go in for the ballet. As luck would have it, we found that we had relatively good seats in the front middle section of the theatre, where acoustics would be the best!
The theatre was really small and even with an upper deck, didn’t look like it could fit more than 300. We heard from the tour operator that due to the limits of the theatre, other groups from the Caribbean Princess were brought to other ballet companies for their show. I hope that they did experience the Swan Lake as well!
The show begins with a live orchestra. Very soon, we found the position of the conductor to be a major obstruction to our view throughtout!
It was really something to experience music and dance live. The atmosphere was just magical, especially when Tchaikovsky is one of my favourite composers.
A whirl of white costumes.
I guess in this case, I am entitled to say that the dancers are as graceful as swans.
The finale. I must say, it was an evening well-spent! At least, now I can say I had been to an authentic Russian ballet.
Looks like the night is still young for these people in St Petersburg! Some photos of the crowd we took from our bus after the ballet ended at around 11.30 pm.
Join us next as we explore the magnificent Catherine Palace.