so it’s 3:30 in the morning and i’m sound asleep and my stupid dog, koda, comes in my room and puts her big doggie nose in my face and starts whimpering because she wants to be let out. so I get up and let her and my other stupid dog, chee, outside. i go back to bed and as soon as I get all warm and cozy chee starts barking to come back in. I get up, open the door and she just just stands there while I freeze my ass off. “chee!!” i say, and she just stands there not coming in and then she runs back into the yard. omg. so i get back in bed and immediately chee starts barking again. this time she comes in but koda is nowhere to be seen. so i stand with the door open freezing my ass off, “KODA!!” but of course she ignores me. back to bed. “woof”. damn dog. i get up and let her in and hooray all dogs are in and i can finally go back to sleep. only the thing is by this time i am wide awake and my mind starts to wander to the ballet/play i saw yesterday afternoon- martha clarke’s wonderful interdisciplinary work “cheri”, starring alessandra ferri, herman cornejo and amy irving. as you may recall, i have mentioned “cheri” once or twice before.
i went to this production with my eldest daughter, who is not really a ballet fan, and in short, i loved it. so did she. from the playful, joyous pas de deux between alessandra and herman that opened the ballet, to herman’s final desperate, heart-wrenching solo at the end, i was caught up in it, at times finding myself tense and barely breathing. intelligently and superbly acted by all three cast members, “cheri” is intensely personal and sensual, so intimate and stirring that at times i felt myself as something of an intruder. thankfully, however, it never crossed the into the realm of tackiness or poor taste, it was simply beautiful. alessandra and herman have amazing chemistry, i adore and respect them both so greatly that i feel blessed and privileged to have seen them dance together.
by the end of the ballet my daughter and i were both misty eyed, with our hearts in our throats, not wanting to speak. oddly, this did not seem to be the reaction of the audience as a whole. there were times during the performance where i felt the urge to applaud but i could sense i would not be joined by the crowd en masse, and instead would be that weirdo clapping four times while everyone else stayed silent. it was very strange, this lackluster crowd, and all i can figure is that being a wednesday matinee the audience was mostly
really old people people with one foot in the grave soulless zombies senior citizens who were in need of a nap or over medicated or something. really, i can’t understand it, i was so moved- how could much of the rest of the audience be so lame? i mean, it wasn’t a negative reaction by any means, just a bit lacking in energy i suppose. perhaps the other spectators were equally impressed and the elderly just have a more sedate way of showing their appreciation. that must be it. so, this is what i lay awake pondering at 4:00 a.m. thanks to my dogs, finally falling back asleep shortly before it was time to get up and wake my younger daughter for school. well, that and the fact that it’s well worth the $25 ticket just to watch the way alessandra rolls thru her feet when being placed down from a lift. gorgeous. well anyway, i am going again to see it in december and the run has just been extended for another week. if you happen to live in the new york area get a ticket if you can. it’s wonderful.
photo by gregory costanzo
a few little side notes….
my non-ballet-loving daughter loved “cheri” and repeatedly exclaimed “omg, that was so beautiful!” as we walked back to our car. also, she is now a little bit in love with herman too, which means i shall have to
kill her take her to see him dance at the Met come spring. she seems perfectly willing and excited, so hooray! also, she did not hesitate to say “yes” when i asked her of she wanted to join me in seeing “cheri” a second time in december.
in the performance i saw there was a technical mishap that unfortunately diminished the intensity of the final scene. this may have contributed to the underwhelming ovation at the end. but still……. i thought the performance deserved a much more generous reception.
our seats were in the front row of this small venue and had i realized how unbelievably close to the stage they would be i probably would have chosen to sit slightly further back. as it was, there is one point in herman’s final, incredible solo where he rolls to the very edge of the stage and he ended up exactly, directly right there in front of me. i mean, he was so close i could have touched him. (don’t worry, i didn’t).
“cheri” was accompanied beautifully on the piano by sarah rothenberg.
i don’t hate my dogs. i love them- just a little less so at 3:30 in the morning.