Monday, June 11, 2012

A Little Bit of Culture

On Tuesday, June 5, I ventured out with two friends to the ballet to see Onegin, a dramatization of Alexander Pushkin's Eugene Onegin. I've never read the entire novel, although we read excerpts of it in Russian school, I think in seventh grade. Also, my cousin used to watch the opera all the time, and all I remember of that was the scene where Onegin cries (sings) - I love you! and Tatiana cries back - Leave me alone! (Люблю тебя! Оставь меня!) So, before I went, I decided I should freshen up my memory of the story, and the book is now on my bucket list of things to do before I die for one reason only. I'm not going to be able to put it any better than what I found on Wikipedia, so here's a direct quote:

"Almost the entire work is made up of 389 stanzas of iambic tetrameter with the unusual rhyme scheme "AbAbCCddEffEgg", where the uppercase letters represent feminine rhymes while the lowercase letters represent masculine rhymes. This form has come to be known as the "Onegin stanza" or the "Pushkin sonnet."" 

How brilliant is that?! For those whom it hasn't clicked for: feminine rhymes and masculine rhymes refer to words of feminine or masculine gender. So not only did Pushkin have to think of a rhyme, but he had a pattern AND he had to find a corresponding rhyme in the same gender! WOW!

The ballet was beautiful. To be completely honest, I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to sit through the prescribed dancing without getting bored, but the staging was excellent and the dancers talented (of course- it was the American Ballet Theater!), so the story was felt throughout.
Here are a few images. I have to say that one of the most impressive things was the set of birches. I spent quite a bit of time inspecting them through my friend's binoculars.

Afterwards, we had dessert at Cafe Fiorello which is right across from Lincoln Center.
 We had the profiteroles, which were filled with vanilla gelato and smothered with fresh hot chocolate sauce.  Decadent, but the dough was a little dry, and the Limoncello tart, which was a perfect combination of sweet and tart.
A wonderful night over all; can't wait to do it again!