Dapper men in droves, mean girls, fantasy suites, making out, hooking up, and Champagne flowing more freely than opinions on a certain striped dress, and no I’m not talking about The Bachelorette. The sex is implied (so don’t worry about bringing the kids.) The drugs are free-flowing Champagne or perhaps the intoxication is just the experience of the audience watching the gorgeous movement across the stage in Boston Ballet’s Lady of The Camellias. The rock & roll refers to the lifts, tosses, and dramatic rolling across the stage that this tragic love story requires to tell. Now let’s talk \=-Lady of The Camellias is a tragic love story set in Paris in the mid 1800’s. Here is a nice little summary of the story by the San Francisco Opera. One of the comments I heard often on opening night was one of surprise that the program notes didn’t really tell the story. Even though the story is extremely well pantomimed throughout the ballet, reading the story especially if you are not familiar with Alexandre Dumas’ La Dame aux Camélias. Verdi’s La Traviata and Moulin Rouge by Baz Lurhmann and Craig Pearce are both also based on the story.
If you’re feeling like you need a breath of fresh spring air, the set and lighting design transport you to spring as well. There are long white drapes blowing in the windows as a back drop to the story. Time passes so elegantly with the help of lighting and dancers seemingly floating along the scrim at the back of the scene. There were moments on stage when it felt like the characters from a Renoir painting were dancing in a Japanese ink wash painting. The costumes were exquisite. The pantomime is Oscar-worthy throughout but especially in the opening party. Who doesn’t love a good party?
If you haven’t had a chance to see a ballet this season yet, then I highly recommend Lady of The Camellias the story has you on the edge of your seat, the dancing has you holding your breath with some very acrobatic partnering for a classical ballet, and the lighting and set takes your breath away as does the gorgeous piano music and two vocal pieces.
Boston Ballet’s Lady of the Camellias runs through this Sunday, March 8th. Tickets are available online or at the box office. Tips for discounted tickets can be found here.