Living in Melbourne is something I sometimes take for granted. Our home in the hills is about as far away from the city as you can be and still get away with saying that we live in Melbourne. Weekdays consist of sitting in traffic as I go to and from work, school drop off and pick ups. There are local shops and supermarket visits, roads often travelled and not usually really seen. Familiarity and contempt and all that.
But when I go to the city proper I’m reminded of the beauty of Melbourne. Reminded of the way it hums and lives at all times of the day and night. Reminded that there is life outside my beloved hills. Life beyond commuting and seeings small sections of the city on repeat. I love that people dress as the do – in all manner of styles and statements. Love the colour, the nuance, the hum that is a living breathing city.
Thursday night was one of those I love this place nights. The Green Eyed Girl and I had gone into the city to see the Peony Pavilion at the Arts Centre. It was the Green Eyed Girl’s first experience of ballet, and what a first experience it was. Both of us were in awe of the performance. The stunning simplicity of the scenery, the music, the dancing were all truly magnificent.
At interval as I waited to be served at the bar, an elderly woman stood next to me chatting to the barman with a degree of familiarity. Dressed in understated black elegance, hints if diamonds in her ears, her eyes shone as she told the barman of her joy at the performance so far. “Stunning,” she told him as he passed her two glasses of sparkling wine, “it’s real ballet. Real ballet!” she said as she took her glasses and turned to leave the bar. Her eyes met my girl’s as she passed. Joy was written on her face. Happiness shone from her eyes. And there we were, three different generations, dressed in three different ways, expressing ourselves through our chosen clothes, united by the love of a live performance and the joy it brought us all.
That for me is part of the reason I go to live performances, be it ballet, classical music, comedy, theatre, rock, pop, folk, hip hop… the connection to people through the utter joy it brings. Connected to total strangers through a common love of music, dance, a story, a laugh.
Being in the Arts Centre before the performance began was a time for me to observe, take in, look at the people attending the performance. Families, couples, friends. People young and old. Connected by family, by love, by friendship. Connected to strangers by the anticipation of being part of an audience. The Peony Pavilion has a short season. We attended opening night and the last performances are this weekend. There is however, lots of other things happening at the Art Centre. A quick and free online registration provides you with emails keeping you up to date.
I am hoping to take the family to a performance at The Famous Spiegel Season. Jazz high tea anyone? And I have my eye on Macbeth later in the year. (Though I do wonder how actors get away with using the name of that Scottish play and living to tell the tale.) I have all but convinced Hubby that Opera would be a fantastic date night too.
So, here’s to nights out in the city I love. Here’s to cross generational love of dance. Here’s to dressing up and expressing yourself. Here’s to performances that leave your hands smarting from clapping and your eyes full of joy.
Do you have nights out? Do you love to dress up? Would your choice be comedy, ballet, opera, theatre, music? I’d love to know.
Disclaimer: I received two complementary tickets to The Peony Pavilion.