Friday, 19 April 2013

A Night at the Ballet

Yesterday I had a long awaited day off! After a much needed sleep in, my housemate Rach and I spent the day together.

After a surprise thunderstorm (something all to rare over here – a lot of drizzle, no thunder!) the sun gods blessed us with a brilliant, if windy day. We made our way into Covent Garden to go to a little Vegetarian restaurant that Rach had been raving about for months. And now I see why. 

The place is called Food for Thought – a hole in the wall and completely unassuming. No need for fancy tables, chairs or menus the food speaks for itself. Rach chose the Kashmiri Gobi with Eggplant and coriander raita and brown rice, and I had the Quiche of the day which was sweet potato and sweet corn with salad on the side. Both were to die for. You would think a quiche and salad to be pretty standard, but it was delicious, with four different side salads and MASSIVE servings.

 We cleared the plates cleaned and managed to fit in dessert.

Banana and strawberry scrunch and apple and plum crumble.

It was a chore, but someone had to get through it all.

The food was simple, delicious, quick, healthy and cheap. The best thing about this place is that the menu changes everyday, and you can get their cookbook for £9.99.

I had gotten us ticket’s to see the English National Ballet at the London Coliseum, so after recovering from our food comas, we walked down to the theatre. Which was absolutely breath taking.

Cheap ticket’s up in the Balcony only cost £10 if you nab the seats early enough, and being organized it definitely worth it. We saw Ecstasy and Death, a collection of three short contrasting ballet’s. The first Petite Mort was my favourite. Only about half an hour long, with six dance partners on stage, all in simple flesh coloured costumes. They seemed like ephemeral beings, almost like they were swimming in water. Their skill and strength made the hardest movements seem effortless, and the dancers exuded a passion and raw energy.

The second, Le Jeune Homme et la Mort, was a short piece also which was a little reminiscent of Street Car Named Desire. Perhaps it was just the raw brute of a man in overalls, stamping around the set of a run down apartment. A beautiful woman manipulates him and her love drives him to suicide after which she reappears to him as Death. It was a highly erotically charged piece with a lot of force, but for me the costuming and set didn’t quite work.
 The third and final piece, Etudes, took the audience through the rigorous training of a ballet student from bar work to the final performance with the skill needed to be a classically trained ballet dancer. The large cast were dressed in simple black and white costumes with stereotypical tutu’s with the men in tights made for some striking images. There were some beautifully crafted moments excellently staged lighting, using silhouette to highlight the dancers skill and elegance. It amy be missing the point with this piece but I didn’t connect emotionally with the piece and for me the final two were ruined by the perfection of the first. All in all, highly recommended though there are only 5 performances left. Rach and I headed home, a perfect ending to a perfect day off. 

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