Seasonal Reflections: the Annual Ballet Concert

Balet Concert 2012
Ballet Concert 2012

In the last month leading up to Christmas, life gets hectic and that, dear readers, is an understatement. Midst all the hoo-ha, congested roads, break ups and shopping frenzy sits the ‘Annual Ballet Concert.’ Many loving parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and assorted others will have attended, or been roped into attending, at least one of these concerts in their lifetime, some out of duty and others out of sheer delight. I sit somewhere between these two sentiments. I have attended most of my granddaughters’ annual concerts over the years but managed to dodge a couple due to quick getaways conveniently pre-planned by Mr Tranquillo. Mr T, who is quite musical but missed out on the dancing gene, finds them a little more tedious than I do, although he sits up eagerly with delight when one of his own granddaughters hits the stage, craning his neck to get a better view.

Another ballet recruit. Daisy with Lottie, ballet Concert 2013.
Another ballet recruit. Daisy with Lottie, ballet concert 2013.

While these events are professional, with fabulous sound and costumes, well rehearsed prima donnas, held in vast, plush theatres owned by private schools (your taxes at work), my total admiration and respect goes to a couple of attendees, the parents of my son-in-law, Kerry and Robyn. Their unbroken tally now sits at 33 years of annual ballet concerts. Kerry, with a touch of irony intermingled with pride, explained further. He attended his own two daughters’ ballet concerts starting in 1982, but now that the eldest is principal of her own dance school, his participation has escalated over the years to helping backstage and with props. As 6 of his grandchildren also learn ballet, his involvement over the last 8 years has stretched to at least three concerts per year, making a total of 49 annual ballet concerts. Now that is dedication! Kerry and Robyn, take a bow. You deserve a medal.

Lottie: backstage adjustments. a touch of Degas.
Lottie backstage. A touch of Degas.

Have you attended your child’s annual concert this year? Are you a dutiful grandparent, aunt, uncle or friend? Do you feel emotional when your darling comes on stage?  Delight, laughter and tears, pride and occasional embarrassment, pure joy tainted with occasional boredom- that’s a ballet concert.