My First Ballet and If It's Also Yours

Sunday, 8 May 2016



Watching ballet in my home country is portraying high-class levels, rich people, luxuriousness, and elegancy. I've never been to any ballet performance in Indonesia, but never wanted to do so because even I've never tried to check, I'm pretty sure the ticket must be so expensive. This event is so rare and not typical Asian thing. Young people prefer to watch big or local music instead.

Moving to Europe makes me want to feel a new experience, embracing the cultures more and more. Here, the ticket price is "not" so expensive, especially if you're a student. For my first ballet, I've got discount for 40% just because I'm under 24. But of course, in some places, they have discount up to 50% for students.

I really remembered my first ballet in Europe, while I was so confused what should I wear and where should I sit. Before my first ticket, I've tried to look for some information regarding the best seat-yet-cheap or proper attire to go. So, if this is your first time and experiencing perplexity like me, this is what happened to me as a beginner devotee of ballet.

What to watch

Actually, it's not that so necessary because after all, you'd see a whole scene of dancing and still would be drowned by enchantment. Of course it's also important to know what are the stories about to make sure we understand how is that going. Reading the synopsis before the performance is the best idea. Sometimes, the Opera House also has an introduction 45 minutes before performance for the people who never heard about the story before.

But watching ballet with the stories we've known is the perfect idea. We already know the ending, but how they end the story with dances is what we want more! As a first timer, some friends said, I could see Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet, Black Swan, Don Q, or Swan Lake. But if there's none of them on the dates you like, just choose anything fancy for yourself and be ready reading the synopsis before.

Where to seat

Before you come and see the performance, you have to choose where to seat. Some people said, the most expensive tickets are not always the best. If you want to experience the view of the dancers and also the orchestra, sit in the parquet is probably the best area. Or at least one floor above the parquet.

For the first time,  I watched with a friend from Latvia who is quite experienced of watching ballet. We ended up sitting in the last two highest floors. I chose the last row but a bit left from the middle. It was not so bad since we still can see the movement of the dancers very clearly. At least, our viewpoint is not blocked by the poles.

As a first timer, normally we would like to choose a best seat in a very low price. It's so tricky, because we don't want our sight is blocked by people's head also. I've no experience of many Opera Houses, but normally sitting in a middle will give you the best views overall. Just choose middle ranges, either very front or very back row. Middle in the middle row is sometimes not a good option also. People tend to stand their back and set their heads to look a bit further down to the scene. I despised this because their heads draped my view! Aarrgghh..

If you are quite thrifty, I think sitting in the middle and front row of the gallery is not so bad. This place is also popular for students and we could still see the performance clearly from the very front row. I saw people even brought their small binoculars for seeing dancers' faces.

So, in my experience, just choose "middle range". A bit right or left from the middle is also good, but make sure there's no pole blocking your view. When I bought my first ticket in the internet, they told me if those seats are having limited view because of the poles or people's head.

What to wear

As I thought before, ballet is denoted by an elegancy and luxuriousness. It is different from watching Hollywood movies in the cinema. So, I was a bit preparing myself for this show. I want to be good but not that super formal like I want to attend a gala. My friend from Latvia said, people from Eastern Europe especially Russia, tend to take this event very seriously. They will dress up very well and even wear a long evening dress just for seeing ballet. They really wear somewhat black tie dresses.

For matinee event, you could wear something casual like black jeans or silky blouse. Do not forget of some touches of cute jewelries make your looks more sophisticated. Wearing trousers with crisp shirts is also good for men. For evening event, I prefer to wear clean dress or skirt for formality. I cannot forget my medium heels to fit in also. For men, even you do not intend to wear black tie dresses, but keep it formal. I noticed some guys looked very neat and formal wrapped by their shirt and tuxedo or blazer. Two guys I've seen, who spoke Russian, took their looks formally indeed.

But, don't be surprised if you can see some people are also very careless about what they wear. I mean, really careless. They can wear shorts and flowy t-shirt with tennis shoes in evening show! Well, it's true that it also depends on where you seat. Some people in parquet or a bit close to the scene tend to dress well; heels and tuxedo, I mean, but who buy the cheaper ticket sometimes don't really care.

Sometimes you do not know, but actually people will also notice a glance what you wear. You are going to an Opera House with a very artistic and cultural interior, so you place yourself as a special guest. Dressing up and honoring the performance won't get you hurt though. If heels might hurt you, choose flat shoes and walk better.


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