This post is a bit overdue…I meant to write it about a week or so ago! oops 😛 I seemed to have quite a cultural reading week this year – a lovely mix of classic plays and beautiful ballet, plus a wonderful old musical 🙂
Firstly, on the Thursday night there was a play reading at our local theatre group – The Attfield Theatre 🙂 We were reading The Importance of Being Ernest, by Oscar Wilde. I hadn’t actually read the play before, or even seen the film, so didn’t really know the storyline, other than the obvious – something to do with someone being called Ernest 😛 Call me naive, but hey, at least I know now 🙂 Anyway, the reading was really good fun. The idea was to swap round parts, reading and acting them out on the stage, while everyone else watched and followed the script from the auditorium. I was lucky enough to read Gwendolen Fairfax all the way through 🙂 Ironically, Mum ended up reading my ‘mother’, Lady Bracknell, after taking over from my Grandma! Yes, everything gets handed down through the family 😛 I thought generally speaking everyone coped really well being thrown in the deep end, having to read and move and feel what they were reading. I was certainly nervous beforehand! I said not long ago I didn’t want to do any more acting, I was happy to take a backstage role. Now I’m not so sure. I just doubt my own acting ability so much after my struggles with Moon Over Buffalo. We shall see…maybe ease back in gently, back at the Attfield, after Uni 🙂
My second touch of culture was going to see The Nutcracker on Friday night at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury. This was a performance by The State Ballet Academy of Minsk, and all I can say is, if that is the standard of the academies, then no wonder the Russian Ballet is so renowned! Actually, I know first hand that the Russian Ballet is amazing from my trip to Moscow in 2008…Giselle in Russia 🙂 Back to Theatre Severn…this was such an amazing performance! I have to mention the three youngsters who danced the pas de trois, and also were Clara, Klaus and one of the other children. The pas de trois they did was phenomenal…none of them could have been more than 10 or 11 years old, both girls were en pointe, and steady as a rock! Their dancing was better than mine has ever been (although, not necessarily difficult :P)!! My breath was well and truly taken away! Other points of interest – one of the ‘dolls’ jumped high in the air, in an open second position (splits in the air), then landed, in the splits! How?! Plus, in the Russian character dance, the boy did Cossack dancing – I tried that once. It is so so difficult! I was speechless by the end, which doesn’t happen very often 😛
Lastly, Saturday was spent as a family – playing Scrabble, taking the dog for a walk and watching TV. Dad wanted to watch the F1, and then I noticed Singing in the Rain was on. I LOVE that film so much…I first saw it last year in our Uni house and fell in love with it. I knew most of the songs, but had never seen it properly. Gene Kelly is a legend in the world of dance, even if my Grandma isn’t impressed 😛 She thinks he is a ‘heavy’ dancer We agreed to disagree. I absolutely adore Donald O’Connor’s performance of ‘Make them laugh’ – has me in stitches every time! I can’t say enough good things about this film 🙂
Culture itself is a strange word though. It means different things to different people, and in different contexts. It can refer to the way a society behaves and the morals and beliefs it holds. It can also be more concrete than that, like in this post – arts and humanities, films, literature etc. Something that can be analysed and enjoyed. It is also a scientific term used in furthering the development of something. In a way this analogy can be transferred to the first definition of culture…developing us as people; making us more ‘cultured’ means furthering our knowledge and attitudes towards humanity.
‘If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.’ ~ Anais Nin