On Saturday I took Sassy to see this man:
dance. I expected ballet – silent leaps, powerful arabesques, classical music. I got something better. We saw Forbidden Christmas or the Doctor and the Patient.
Initially, I must admit that I was a little disappointed. The sets and costumes were very simple (a car was painted on a backdrop and was dragged across stage on a set of wires – when the car reappeared to travel in the opposite direction – the painting was still facing the original direction). The action was a little slow and even though it was only 90 minutes long, I was worried that Sassy was getting antsy.
The play has a very Russian sensibility. Once I realized that, the simplicity of the sets made sense. For me, it’s a feeling of not only making do with what you have, but creating something extraordinary. Because I was not distracted by amazing scenery and costumes, I paid more attention to the actors and what they were telling me.
Forbidden Christmas refers to the way the Communists tried to stamp out any signs of Christianity in their people. They actually cut all power on Christmas Eve, thinking that this would stop people from celebrating. I have to admire people who continued to believe despite the obstacles.
It was worth sitting though the dogma just to see the grace and beauty Baryshnikov brings to the stage. I’m very glad we went and even more pleased that Sassy enjoyed herself so much. If you have the chance to see the show – go.