Battling Delhi’s VIP culture.  At the ballet, of all places

Battling Delhi’s VIP culture. At the ballet, of all places

Had I written this post last night, fresh from a traumatic evening at the ballet, it might have been very different from what I am now about to write.

Last night, despite the glorious, gorgeous, utterly fabulous ballet on offer, the horrors of the queuing and overall chaos were too fresh in my mind.

Today though, with 24 hours’ hindsight, I guess I have forgotten some of the treatment meted out to we mango people.

So, I will not spoil the beauty of the ballet with too much negativity, but just share a few awful moments with you.

Like arriving at 6pm for a 7pm show at Siri Fort, to find the hugest queue I have ever seen in India, all made up of Delhi’s finest.  Elderly ladies in silk saris queuing on the road, whilst the theatre gates remain resolutely shut.

VIPs rocking up in cars, sirens blazing, police jeeps, escort cars.

Seriously frustrated people trying to get in when the special VIP gate was opened (oh yes, no ordinary entrance for our Delhi VIPs).  They all failed, by the way.

People queue barging shamelessly –  you could hear shouting miles down the line where we were standing.

What on earth is their problem ?

Open the damn gates, let people go in as they arrive and sit down, instead of making us all wait for hours, and then sprint in an undignified way to try and find a seat (free seating doesn’t help).

It was actually borderline humiliating.

Once inside – back row of the highest balcony –  the show, which inevitably started late –  was lovely.

The audience took for ever to straggle in –  people were still arriving 50 minutes into the show.  We had 3 tiny babies yelling their lungs out for much of the show.  Mobile phones were not on silent.

As a complete ballet nut, I recognised most of the excerpts (they did The Best of kind of things) but some kind of explanation might have been helpful for the Indian audience who often sat silent, after a 30 second dazzling solo, obviously unaware that ballet requires lots of appreciative applause of the glorious showy-off bits of bravura.

Also, taken out of context, as all the excerpts were, it must have been a tad confusing for people unfamiliar with ballet.

But oh my goodness me, the dancing was glorious.

Here is just one clip for you  – and don’t miss the jolly clapping along, to one of the most dazzling, stressful moments in Swan Lake.  Usually it’s breathless silence for these 32 fouettés, but not last night :


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